Cincinnati Reds: Three most foolish trades in team history

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Cincinnati Reds
NEW YORK, NY – CIRCA 1913: Christy Mathewson, Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Giants (Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images) /

1. Christy Mathewson (1900)

Christy Mathewson is one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history. While few fans probably know of him, Mathewson played 17 seasons for the New York Giants and ended his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1916. But, did you know that Mathewson was a member of the Cincinnati Reds for a hot minute in 1900?

In 1900, Mathewson’s contract was purchased from Norfolk of the Virginia-North Carolina League by the New York Giants. Mathewson went 0-3 in six games with a 5.08 ERA and was sent back to Norfolk. The Reds would pluck Mathewson off Norfolk’s roster, but the right-hander never played a game for Cincinnati and was traded back to the Giants for Amos Rusie.

Christy Mathewson would go on to have have a Hall of Fame career. The Gentleman Hurler put together a 372-188 record with a career-ERA of 2.13 and won the Triple Crown in 1908. During that season, Mathewson led the league in wins (37), ERA (1.43) and strikeouts (259). He also pitched 11 shutouts that season and totaled 390.2 innings pitched.

So, while Mathewson went on to have one of the greatest careers in major league history, who makes this trade so foolish was who the Reds got in return. Amos Rusie is a Hall of Fame pitcher as well, pitching the majority of his 10-year career for the New York Giant. Rusie won 246 games during his career, however, none of those wins came while he played for the Reds.

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So there you have it, the three most foolish trades in the 150-year history of the Cincinnati Reds. Happy April Fool’s Day to everyone in Reds Country. Let’s hope the current front office avoids any foolish trades in 2020.