Red Sox: What if Jeff Bagwell never got traded to Houston Astros?

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The Boston Red Sox traded prospect Jeff Bagwell to Houston just a year after getting drafted. Is this the worst trade in franchise history?

HOF Jeff Bagwell & HOF Craig Biggio

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Bagwell is a Hall of Fame first baseman who played his entire career with the Houston Astros. Bags was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a New Englander at heart. He even opted to stay close to home attending the University of Hartford. In 1989, the Boston Red Sox drafted the then third baseman in the 4th round. It had all the makings of a great story about a hometown kid playing for his favorite ball club.

All that changed on August 30, 1990 when Bagwell was shipped to Houston for Larry Andersen, largely considered one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. We’re left asking ourselves, was this the worst move ever by the Red Sox?

Andersen gained notoriety because of who he was traded for. Coming to Boston in 1990 via trade from Houston, the Red Sox needed a solid bullpen arm to bolster their squad. The Sox needed to prepare for what would become a match-up against the AL West Oakland Athletics. He did the job in Houston that year and continued upon his arrival to Boston. The Sox sent the then minor leaguer Bagwell to Houston. Who could have imagined what the future held?

The 1999 All Star Game must have been an odd feeling too. Listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver explain (beginning at 08:12) that Bagwell could have been doing it for Boston instead of against Boston just hurts. If there’s one trade do over the Red Sox wish they could have, Bagwell for Andersen would definitely be it.

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