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Who won the previous 5 biggest trades in Cubs-White Sox history?

There have been 14 previous Cubs-Sox trades, only five of which bear revisiting. Why? Each of these involved big names or produced a conclusive winner — or both.

Dec. 11, 1973: The Cubs traded 33-year-old Ron Santo for young starting pitcher Steve Stone, promising catching prospect Steve Swisher, reliever Ken Frailing and a player to be named later. Santo — moved from third base by manager Chuck Tanner — fizzled in his lone season with the Sox and retired at its conclusion. Stone, Swisher and even Frailing gave the Cubs some quality years.
Winner: Cubs.

March 28, 1981: The teams traded former starting pitchers who’d moved into relief roles — Sox lefty Ken Kravec (inset) for Cubs righty Dennis Lamp. The latter was far more productive on the other side of town. Lamp had a fine three-year run with the Sox; alternating between the rotation and the bullpen, he went 25-21 with a 3.45 ERA. Lamp was a key figure out of the bullpen in the 1983 ALCS against the Orioles, pitching in three games and allowing one unearned run.
Winner: Sox.

Jan. 25, 1983: A whole lot happened here. The Sox — on the cusp of a division-title season — acquired infielders Scott Fletcher and Pat Tabler and pitchers Randy Martz and Dick Tidrow in exchange for pitchers Steve Trout (right) and Warren Brusstar. Tidrow was a key member of the Sox bullpen in ’83. Tabler was dealt before the season to the Indians for Jerry Dybzinski, not a strong move. But the Cubs were getting good themselves, and Trout became one of their best starters; he won 13 games in their glorious ’84 campaign and pitched into the ninth inning in a Game 2 victory over the Padres in the NLCS. Like Trout, reliever Brusstar was a major contributor for multiple seasons.
Winner: Cubs.

Sammy Sosa in 2003. (Photo/jeffrey Boan)

March 30, 1992: The Cubs traded veteran slugger George Bell for reliever Ken Patterson and a thin kid with all the tools by the name of Sammy Sosa. Whatever Sosa did to keep the good times rolling, he sent 545 home runs into orbit and contributed as much as any player ever to the packed-house party atmosphere at Wrigley Field. By just about any measure, this was as lopsided as lopsided gets.
Winner: Cubs.

July 29, 1998: In the midst of a push for the playoffs, the Cubs sent star pitching prospect Jon Garland (right) to the South Side for sometimes-dominant reliever Matt Karchner (left). If the deal made sense at the time, it sure didn’t pan out; Karchner made little impact with his new team aside from giving up a grand slam to the Braves’ Ryan Klesko in his only playoff appearance. Garland went on, of course, to be a mainstay of the Sox rotation for nearly a decade and had his best season in 2005, when the Sox won the World Series. Winner: Sox.


8/4/49: Sox traded Bobby Rhawn and cash to Cubs for Johnny Ostrowski.

12/1/64: Sox traded Frank Baumann to Cubs for Jimmie Schaffer.

11/30/70: Cubs traded Pat Jacquez, Dave Lemonds and Roe Skidmore to Sox for Ossie Blanco and Jose Ortiz.

8/18/77: Sox traded Larry Anderson and cash to Cubs for Steve Renko.

8/15/81: Cubs traded Lynn McGlothlen to Sox for a player to be named later (turned out to be Bob Molinari).

12/10/82: Sox traded Reggie Patterson to Cubs for Ty Waller.

11/22/89: Cubs traded Rick Scheid to Sox for Chuck Mount.

4/30/90: Cubs traded Frank Campos to Sox for Bill Long.

11/16/06: Sox traded Neal Cotts to Cubs for Carlos Vasquez and David Aardsma.


Intramarket trades have been rare and, frankly, not all that interesting across baseball. Here are the biggest — we’re using that term loosely — outside of Chicago:

• After the 1972 season, a major deal was done that featured terrific starting pitcher Andy Messersmith going to the Dodgers and a package of five players — including future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, proven starting pitcher Bill Singer and 1968 first-round draft pick Bobby Valentine — going to the Angels. Messersmith had the best season of his career in ’74, when the Dodgers reached the World Series. The Angels went nowhere.

• In the spring of 1978, the Giants traded seven players and cash (because seven players are never enough) for Vida Blue. The star lefty was outstanding — and the Giants were good — that season, but things ended a bit shy of the postseason. The A’s, their glory days over, were in the tank.

• After the 2001 season, the Yankees and Mets made a trade — David Justice for Robin Ventura — that sounds like a much bigger deal now than it actually was then. Ventura still had some power left and hit 36 homers in 748 at-bats with the Yankees before he was traded during the ’03 season. Justice was a Met for one week before he was dealt to the A’s.

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Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com


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