Astros: Jadeveon Clowney trade sparks memories of the Joe Morgan trade

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans celebrates recovering a fumble against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Houston Texans celebrates recovering a fumble against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Texans have traded Jadeveon Clowney and the fans are up in arms. Does this rank up there with the Astros Joe Morgan trade as one of Houston’s worst?

Jadeveon Clowney, at 26 years old, is already a premier pass rusher in the NFL and is just reaching his prime. So what do the Houston Texans do? Trade him for a third-round pick and a couple of so-so defensive players that aren’t really even needed. There are a ton of irate Texans fans on social media calling this one of the worst trades ever.

Perhaps they’re either too young or they just don’t remember an infamous trade that took place back in 1971. Remember a 28-year-old second baseman by the name of Joe Morgan? Right when he was coming into his own as a valuable player in the Major Leagues, the Astros traded him along with a few other players to the Cincinnati Reds. Remember how that turned out?

Joe Morgan was part of a seven-player transaction with the Reds. Along with Morgan, Cincinnati got 1B Denis Menke, P Jack Billingham, and RF Cesar Geronimo. The Astros acquired 1B Lee May, INF Tommy Helms, and utility player Jimmy Stewart.

At least the Astros seemed to have a purpose and a plan in mind when orchestrating this trade. Their idea was to bring in a first baseman with pop to his bat to fill a hole in the offensive lineup. There are a lot of people trying to figure out what the Texans plan is with the Clowney trade. What gaps did they fill? Which unit of the football team benefitted?

As everyone is aware, Joe Morgan went on to be a Hall of Fame player. After he departed Houston he played in eight straight All-Star Games, won two MVP Awards, and five Gold Glove Awards. Morgan scored over 100 runs a season in the next six seasons on the way to earning two World Series rings with the Reds.

Morgan - Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 14: Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench walk on the field prior to the 86th MLB All-Star Game at the Great American Ball Park on July 14, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Two other pieces of that trade, Geronimo and Billingham, had many successful seasons for the “Big Red Machine” and were integral parts of a team that won four divisional titles and two World Series in the years following the transaction.

What did the Houston Astros get in return? Lee May had a couple of decent seasons for Houston but was shipped out after three years. They got four mediocre seasons out of Tommy Helms and two subpar years of service from Jimmy Stewart.

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It definitely turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades in the history of Houston Sports. Whether the Clowney trade will be ranked up there as one of the worst, only time will tell. But as for now, the fans certainly think so.

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