If one were ever to question the genius of former St. Louis and current Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty, I present you the offseason between 1999 and 2000. During that fateful spring Waltzin’ Walt traded staff ace Kent Bottenfield to the then Anaheim Angels (along with 2B Adam Kennedy) for CF Jim Edmonds. Kennedy ended up being serviceable for the Angels and was part of their 2002 WS Championship but I’d say the Edmonds portion of the deal seemed to work out well enough for the Cardinals:
But how about Bottenfield. He was the real centerpiece of the whole deal. How ’bout we take a gander at that 1999 season for Kent (spelled ironically with a K).
18-7 record with a 3.97 ERA. Sounds reasonable enough to trade Jim Edmonds for, right?
Frankly, what the hell were the Angels thinking. Bottenfield was decent in 1999, we’ll give him that. But perhaps Anaheim got a little caught up in that lofty win total. Bottenfield tap danced through a mine field to a 3.97 ERA considering his season ending WHIP was 1.50. He wasn’t exactly getting out of trouble via the strikeout either. In 190.1 innings he only K’ed 124 batters. Throw in 89 BB and you’ve got a pitcher who wasn’t hardly as overpowering as that W-L total suggests.
The Angels appear to have neglected Bottenfield’s previous seasons as well. Up until that leprechaun induced ’99 season, Kent had compiled a 4.27 ERA on his way to a 18-27 record. Hardly enough in return to be trading away your power hitting, slick fielding centerfielder.
Cardinals fans know the rest of the post-1999 story when it comes to Edmonds, but what about Kent “The Bottle Opener” Bottenfield? Well, he didn’t even finish the year with the Angels after a mid season trade to the Phillies (for Ron Gant <—Awesome) during the 2000 season. He pitched in 13 more games in 2001 and that’s all she wrote. Bottenfield never pitched again in the Majors and Walt Jocketty walked away the winner once again.