It is not very often that two players that are traded for one another turn out to have very similar careers. The Red Sox already had 1B/ 3B George Scott when they traded him to the Brewers in a ten player trade in 1971. Cecil Cooper came up with the Red Sox and played in the 1975 World Series. In 1976, the Brewers sent Scott back to the Red Sox in exchange for Cooper. While Cooper had a longer and more effective career with the Brewers, Scott was the more accomplished power hitter.
Bernie Carbo also rejoined the Red Sox in 1976 in the trade that sent Scott back to Boston and Cooper to Milwaukee. Scott started his career in 1966 with the Red Sox and stayed there until 1971. He played for the Brewers from 1972-1976, before playing for the Red Sox from 1977-1979 until he was traded to the Royals. Known as a power hitter, Scott hit .268 for his career with 271 HR and 1051 RBI. He finished his career with 1992 hits, 306 2B and an OPS of .767. He drew 699 walks and struck out 1412 times.
Cooper went on to have a very good career for the Brewers. He started his career in 1971 with the Red Sox and stayed until the trade in 1976. He spent the rest of his years (1977-1987) with Milwaukee. He managed to hit .298 with 241 HR and 1125 RBI. He had 2192 hits, 415 2B and finished with a .803 OPS. While he had only 448 walks, he only struck out 911 times.
Though Scott was more of a home run hitter, there is little other comparison. Cooper was still young when he played for Boston and they moved him for the more accomplished Scott. The Brewers got the best part of this trade as Cooper was a franchise type player. He was a little underrated since he was in the shadow of Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.
Trading Cooper was an example of the Red Sox not being patient. Perhaps they thought Cooper would never be able to handle the pressures of playing for Boston. He sure proved he could play for Milwaukee. Though Scott had a decent run with the Red Sox the first time, he was not the force the Red Sox thought they were getting. He led the AL with 36 HR and 109 RBI in 1977, and though Boston thought it was a sign of things to come, it was not. He would hit 12 HR for the Red Sox in 1978 and 12 more for the Red Sox, Royals and Yankees in 1979 before hanging it up. No question the Brewers won the trade. And Cooper turned out to be the better overall player.
6/25/2012 01:28:21 pm
I miss the days when trades were made to try to strengthen your team. It seems like most trades now are just to unload a guy who's contract is up and there always one sided.
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