Of course, the easy answer is Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb. The question being, “What was the worst trade in Seattle Mariners history?” I’ll admit that even I have reasoned this to be the worst transaction in the annals of the franchise, an opinion I put into print over a year ago.
But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realize that the worst trade in history wasn’t made back in 1997. Rather, it was executed just a few short years ago and nearly flew under the radar. In fact, you may have forgotten about the deal entirely. But you shouldn’t have. Because this move was absolutely, undeniably horrific.
All that said, we first need to understand why the Varitek-and-Lowe-for-Slocumb swap wasn’t the worst trade in Mariners history. So let’s start there.
On the day that then-general manager Woody Woodward pulled the trigger on the Slocumb debacle, it was not viewed as the horrible, Godawful, incredibly one-sided affair that we see it as today. There are two reasons for this.