Luis Castillo - Castillo stole more as a Met and upped his OBP to a whopping .743. Nevertheless, "The Collapse" happened and all Mets players now wear the scarlett number ('07) until they get back to the playoffs.
Milton Bradley - Let me tell you, when he's on your team you love this guy. He came to the Padres and led the team in most offensive categories for the conclusion of the season. He hit .313/.414/.590 until he had an enlightening conversation with Mike Winters and managed to tear his ACL. From that point on the Padres went the way of the Mets and missed the playoffs by blowing the last week of the season. Don't even get me started.
Mark Texeira - The Braves gave up a bundle to get "Big Tex" including 4 minor leaguers, 3 of which have yet to hit the majors. But, Tex went nuts as a Brave in 2006 including a line of .317/.404/.615 with 56 rbi's in only 54 games. Unfortunately, the Braves went .500 in his games while finishing 3rd in the division for the second year in the row.
Eric Gagne - A drink cart on his plane from Texas to Boston must have run into his right shoulder him while he was sleeping. I can't think of any other explanation for his incredible fall from grace with Boston. With Texas he saved 16 games with a 2.16 era and 1.05 whip. In Boston, he lost leads with regularity as a set-up man and his 6.75 era and 1.875 whip didn't win him too many fans in New England. They'd been better off digging up El Guapo.
Bobby Abreu- Slugged over .500 with 10 steals after the trade. This was the year Sheffield went down so Abreu filled a huge need in RF. I'll list off the 4 prospects the Yanks gave up and you tell me if they feel good about the deal 2 years later: CJ Henry, Matt Smith, Jesus Sanchez, and Carlos Monasterios. That's what I thought.
Julio Lugo - He showed power and speed (12hr/18steals in 73 games) before being traded from Tampa Bay to LA. With LA he put up .219/.278/267 with 0 hr and 6 steals in 49 games. The Dodgers won the Wild Card but, it certainly wasn't because of Lugo.
Greg Maddux - "The Dirty Professor" was solid down the stretch going 6-3 with a 3.30 era. Unlike Lugo, Maddux solidified a Dodgers weakness and this trade has to be considered a success.
Carlos Lee- The Rangers gave up Coco Cordero in this deal to try to jump start their offense with the always consistent Lee. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Lee's slugging percentage stayed the same by upping his doubles while lowering his homeruns. The Rangers finished 80-82 and promptly lost Lee to Houston in free agency. Not a success.
Bob Wickman - The rotund Wickman was extremely effective as a Brave with a 1.04 era and 18 saves in 19 opportunites in 2006. The Braves went 30-27 down the stretch but, their streak of division titles went by the way side.
Jeff Weaver - Who would have thunk it? I sure didn't. I was at Game 1 of 2006's NLDS where Weaver out dueled Jake Peavy for 5 innings. Weaver was just getting warmed up. He went 3-2 with a 2.43 era in 5 postseason starts. Seattle's newly canned GM probably wishes he never watched an inning on the 2006 postseason. Weaver quickly cashed in and went back to sucking in '07.
So the moral of the story is watch those in-flight drink carts, have Dave Duncan as your pitching coach, and watch out for Maddux in the showers. Happy 4th everyone.