The Five Worst Trades in Kansas City Royals History

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Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1. David Cone for Ed Hearn (March 27, 1987)

In the latter years of Ewing Kauffman’s life, he tried desperately to bring the Royals back to the postseason. The Royals were active in free agency and on the trade front, looking for that piece that could get them another World Series title. One of the pieces that could have helped was David Cone, who went to high school right there in Kansas City.

Cone was not impressive in his first stint with the Royals, with a 5.56 ERA and a 1.853 WHiP in his eleven outings in 1986. Yet, he had been a solid prospect for the Royals, putting up solid minor league numbers as he climbed through the ranks. Instead, Cone was traded to the New York Mets for Ed Hearn, who had been a backup catcher for during the Mets run to the World Series. It was expected that Hearn would be the starting catcher for the Royals going forward.

Instead, the trade quickly became a disaster. Hearn suffered a severe should injury, as he played only thirteen games for the Royals over two seasons. Out of baseball entirely at the end of the 1990 season, Hearn suffered from kidney problems and cancer, both of which he has been able to overcome.

Ed Hearn could have been a solid player for the Royals had injuries not derailed his career. Instead, it was David Cone who went on to become a star, making his trade the worst move in Royals history.