San Francisco Giants: 5 Trades That Did Not Work Out

By Gary Oversen
4 of 6

Gaylord Perry and Frank Duffy to the Cleveland Indians for Sam McDowell (1971)

Frank Duffy comes over for George Foster, and shortly thereafter is packaged with future Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry for a slightly younger starter in Sam McDowell.

First let me say this, McDowell’s stats prior to the trade were impressive. He was a six time All-Star in Cleveland, and had a run of four straight before the trade. His stats with the Indians were 122-109 with a 2.99 ERA and led the league in strikeouts five times, with over 300 twice.

But then he came to Candlestick, and he gave the team a 10-8 record with a 4.33 ERA in 25 starts in 1972. He was then traded to the New York Yankees after 18 games in 1973, having worked mostly out of the bullpen.

Duffy went on to have a six year term with the Indians, becoming their full-time shortstop. But he was more of a defensive specialist, hitting .233 with 26 home runs total in those six seasons.

Perry, who had made two All-Star games with the Giants, and two years prior had 23 wins with the team, went to Cleveland. In his ten years with the Giants he was 134-109 with an ERA of 2.96. So the numbers with McDowell were pretty close. But Perry was 33 when he was sent to Cleveland and McDowell was 29. Usually you bet on youth when the numbers are so even.

The bet was wrong.

Perry went on to win 24 games his first year with the Indians, with 29 complete games (yes you read that correctly), made the All-Star team, and won the Cy Young award. He spent four years there before moving on to Texas in 1975. His numbers while in Cleveland (70-57, 2.71 ERA, 2 All-Stars and that one Cy Young.

Next: Bonds for Murcer