Five Worst Trades In Oakland Athletics’ History

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Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie in 2014

I’m still scratching my head over this one.

The deal: A totally unexpected and controversial trade that sent clubhouse team leader Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for third baseman Brett Lawrie, pitcher Kendall Graveman, and two minor leaguers.

There was no reason for the trade, and it absolutely made no sense. Donaldson had far better numbers and financially was cost-controlled through 2018. Lawrie, while a good player with an above-average bat, a bit of power, and some clutch hitting, never came close to matching Donaldson’s numbers. His defense was a bit shaky and nowhere near Donaldson’s glove at the hot corner.

I’ll just jump to the result:
Donaldson, who hit .297 with 41 home runs, led the league in runs and RBIs went on to win the 2015 MVP while playing for the Blue Jays, who won the AL East. Lawrie, who hit .260 with just 16 home runs and had a dreadful .937 fielding percentage, was replaced at third base by Danny Valencia toward the end of the season by the A’s, who finished last in the AL West. On December 9, Lawrie was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers.

Next: The 30 Worst Players in Franchise History

One thing that stands out in ALL these deals are successive seasons of last place or near-cellar appearances, which does not give much hope going into 2016.