The Randy Moss experiment failed the second time around in Minnesota as the combustible receiver was put on waivers Monday, only two weeks after the Vikings traded a third-round pick to the New England Patriots for his services.
Although the repercussions of that trade won’t be known until the Patriots draft and develop that third-round selection, they certainly hope it pans out better than some of the regrettable moves made by the big three Toronto franchises.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Leafs trade their 1st round pick (1991) to the New Jersey Devils for Tom Kurvers.
In the fall of 1989 Tom Kurvers played one game for the Devils before the Leafs came knocking for his services, giving up a first-round draft pick in exchange for the 28-year-old defenceman.
In 1988-89, Toronto had the third-worst record in the league while Kurvers was coming off a 16-goal, 66-point campaign with the Devils.
The deal seemed to work out for the Blue and White initially as they improved by 18 points the next season and made the playoffs. For his part, Kurvers added 15 goals and 52 points.
But the following year, Kurvers played in only 19 games due to injury before being shipped off to the Vancouver Canucks. Meanwhile, Toronto struggled badly and handed New Jersey the third-overall pick in the 1991 draft.
With that pick the Devils selected future Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Niedermayer.
Kurvers wound up playing in 89 regular-season games with the Leafs and racked up 55 points. Niedermayer went on to play 17 years in the NHL with the Devils and Anaheim Ducks, collecting 784 points en route to capturing four Stanley Cups.
Raptors trade Vince Carter to the New Jersey Nets for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams and two first-round draft choices.
Although Carter all but quit on the Raptors leading up to the trade and forced GM Rob Babcock to pull a trigger on a deal before there was a market for his marquee star, the return he got woefully bad.
Mourning refused to report to Toronto and was bought out in February while Aaron and Eric Williams were non-factors during their time as Raptors .
Toronto used one draft pick to select Joey Graham 16thoverall in 2005 and sent the other to the New York Knicks in a trade that was used primarily to move Jalen Rose’s inflated contract.
Not only did Toronto send off its franchise player, they got rid of the guy who put the Raptors on the mainstream NBA map.
After landing in New Jersey, Carter took off flying and averaged 20 points per game in five straight seasons with the Nets and was an all-star in three of them.
And to top things off, Carter led New Jersey past the Raptors in the opening round of the 2007 playoffs.
In retrospect it’s tough to tell who wears the goat horns in this case: Carter or Babcock — although both names are certainly spoken with disdain since that franchise-shaking day in 2004.
Toronto Blue Jays
Blue Jays trade Michael Young and Darwin Cubillian to the Texas Rangers for Esteban Loaiza.
Unlike the Raptors or Leafs, the Jays seem to have made more good trades than bad. Also unlike the two other franchises, the Jays won championships in 1992 and 1993, leaving fans with a recent memory of success, and not thinking what could have been.
But like any professional team, there are bound to be mistakes along the way and the Blue Jays are no different.
Aside from becoming the Rangers’ all-time hits leader this season with 1,848 — 265 more than Jays’ record holder Tony Fernandez — the 10-year veteran was the American League batting champion in 2005, Gold Glove winner in 2008 and six-time all-star.
Loaiza never amounted to much in Toronto, winning a combined 25 games in three seasons in a Jays’ uniform.
Oddly enough he won 21 games with a 2.92 earned run average and finished second in Cy Young voting with the Chicago White Sox the following year.
With Young battling for a World Series crown and the Jays in need of help at third base, this is clearly one they’d like to have back.