San Francisco Giants: 5 Trades That Did Not Work Out

By Gary Oversen
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Orlando Cepeda for Ray Sadecki

With Willie McCovey stationed at first base, the team decided to make a move with the 28-year-old Orlando Cepeda. The problem was, they clearly undervalued him.

Cepeda had made six All-Star teams, was the Rookie of the Year in 1958, and was the runner-up in the MVP race in 1961 (Frank Robinson won it). His Giant career stats were probably enough to put him in the Hall of Fame by themselves. He ended up making it there eventually.

They just didn’t have a spot for him. The problem was, they just didn’t get enough back.

Ray Sadecki was a starter who was also 28 at the time of the trade. He had a 20-win season two years before the trade and the Giants must have thought he was in his prime. But up to that point he was a .500 pitcher with an ERA over 4.00.

He went 32-39 with a 3.52 ERA in four years with the team. He did have an ERA below 3.00 for two years, but also lost 18 games one of those years (1968).

This was a case of not getting enough back in the trade. Sadecki actually spent more time with the Giants than Cepeda did with the Cardinals (four years to three). But Cepeda‘s impact was much more apparent.

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Sadecki never won any awards, while Cepeda ended up both going to the All-Star game and winning the MVP while helping bring a World Series title to St. Louis in 1967.