If one were to ask a Pirates fan to make a list of the worst trades in team history, there is little doubt that the 2001 disposal of Jason Schmidt to the San Francisco Giants would appear high on the list. On July 30th, 2001, The Pirates traded Schmidt and outfielder John Vander Wal (a productive player in his own right) to the San Francisco Giants for two of the all-time greats, pitcher Ryan Vogelsong and outfielder Armando Rios.
Upon leaving Pittsburgh, Schmidt blossomed into one of the best power pitchers in all of baseball.
Suffice it to say, the move did not work out for the Pirates. After accumulating an ERA more befitting of an airline jet (5.86) than a pitcher in the major leagues, Vogelsong has taken his batting practice act to Japan. Rios last played professionally in 2005...for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent League. Rios was also named in the BALCO case, and is an admitted user of performance enhancing drugs. Which makes you wonder, how bad would Rios have been if ...
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.