Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: The Five Worst Trades in Franchise History

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DETROIT - JULY 8: Edgar Renteria #8 of the Detroit Tigers stands ready at bat against the Cleveland Indians on July 8, 2008 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT - JULY 8: Edgar Renteria #8 of the Detroit Tigers stands ready at bat against the Cleveland Indians on July 8, 2008 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 27: A baseball sits on the field before the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 27, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers trade Billy Pierce and $10,000 to the White Sox for Aaron Robinson

Concerned with the left-handed Pierce’s early control issues, the Tigers shipped him, along with $10k, to the White Sox for catcher Aaron Robinson. Allegedly, Tigers GM Billy Evans immediately regretted trading Pierce, calling the White Sox the next day and trying to call off the trade.

Unofrutnately for Detroit, that strategy didn’t work. Evans was wise to regret the trade, as Pierce went on to become one of the greatest pitchers of the 1950’s.

Pierce pitched for the White Sox from 1949-1961. He went 186-152 with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He tossed 183 complete games and 35 shutouts.

Pierce finished his career with three seasons in San Francisco, retiring with 211 wins and a 3.27 ERA. Although he didn’t make the Hall of Fame he was a seven time All-Star and is 87th all time in pitcher WAR, with a mark of 53.2.

Robinson hit .244 with 22 home runs in 253 games for the Tigers, good for a 3.4 bWAR. So the Tigers gave up $10,000 dollars and well over 10x as much value on the diamond. No wonder Evans regretted it immediately. Too bad it wasn’t sooner.

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