In Moneyball, Billy Beane trades Jeremy Giambi for John Mabry, after which Beane says, "This is the worst baseball decision I've ever made, but my best decision as a GM." Whenever (if?) Jonah Keri names his Rays book, it's possible someone will be able to make a mention like this to Andrew Friedman and the Elijah Dukes trade.
Everyone knew Dukes was the superior talent in the deal, and everyone knew there was a chance that 9 out of 10 times Dukes would end up the being more valuable immediately and for the long-term. Unfortunately, that one time Dukes failed to be better, he would also be the time he ended up dead or in jail. Even so, the deal was not met with much resistance in the press or in the fan base.
The return was Glenn Gibson, and the return seemingly imploded.
What happened to Gibson? Well, it wasn't the home park, nor the parks he visited in 2008:
And with the exception of April, Gibson was pretty awful all season long:
Obviously, June's HR/FB% sticks out like a sore thumb, and I'm not entirely sure if that was simply bad luck - which seems possible, given the line drive percentage, and seemingly outlandish groundball percentage - or if Gibson was mechanically off. Gibson followed his stint as a souvenir giver as one who allowed 34% line drives. That's not a typo, Gibson got royally beat up.
Sometime mid-season Gibson was demoted and moved to the bullpen. Didn't help:
Now, if I can remove my analyst hat and put on my scouting one to make this observation:
He was really bad...at everything....at any time, and I really don't have a reason why.
Maybe his mechanics suck, or he was trying too hard, maybe he was tipping pitches, or it's possible he simply hit the wall. That seems a bit unlikely for a guy many considered a decent prospect, but it's not like attrition hasn't claimed stronger prospects along the way.