Houston Astros trade Joe Morgan to the Cincinnati Reds
Full trade package:
Houston Astros receive Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart
Cincinnati Reds receive Joe Morgan, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo, and Denis Menke
When this trade was made, it had looked great for Houston because they were getting a power hitter in Lee May who hit 39 home runs and 98 RBI’s the year before. Well, that clearly wasn’t the case with the way Joe Morgan was getting on base in 1972. Morgan had a .417 OBP (On-base Percentage) which led all of baseball.
Joe Morgan became one of the best players in baseball once he was traded from Houston to Cincinnati. In his first five seasons, he had over 100 RBIs, an OBP over .400, and over 15 home runs each year. Morgan also had 50-plus stolen bases in his first four seasons, just missing the 50 mark by 1 after having 49 stolen bases in 1977.
In his 8 years with the Reds, he hit .288/.415/.470 along with 152 HR, 1,155 hits, 612 RBI, and 406 stolen bases. He also was the NL MVP in 1975 and 1976, 5 Gold Glove Awards, and 2 World Series Championships in 1975 and 1976.
The Astros’ return for this trade doesn’t come close to what Joe Morgan did on the baseball field for the Reds, making this not only one of the worst trades in Astros history but in MLB history as well.