Revisiting the Cardinals-Rockies Trade Involving Larry Walker

Larry Walker
Former Cardinals slugger Larry Walker | G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

At the 2004 MLB trade deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals were looking to bolster what was already a loaded lineup that featured Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Edgar Rentería, and Jim Edmonds.

When the dust settled, St. Louis acquired slugger Larry Walker from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for a trio of prospects.

Let's evaluate this trade from both perspectives and see if we can come up with a winner.

Cardinals-Rockies Larry Walker Trade Details

Cardinals acquire: Larry Walker

Rockies acquire:  Jason Burch, Luis Martinez and Chris Narveson

Walker spent 1.5 seasons with the Cardinals before he retired after the 2005 season. In that time, the now-Hall of Famer hit .286/.387.520 with 26 home runs and 79 RBI. In terms of club success, St. Louis appeared in the World Series in 2004, though the club was swept by the Boston Red Sox. In 2005, the Cards were eliminated in the NLCS.

Ironically enough, they won the World Series in 2006, after Walker had already retired.

As for the Rockies, well, Burch never made it out of the minor leagues. In fact, from 2003-2008, he was never even promoted to Triple-A. Martinez never established himself as a big league-caliber player.

Narveson spent the second half of the 2004 campaign with Colorado before he was traded to Boston a year later in exchange for Byung-Hyun Kim and cash considerations. In eight MLB seasons (435.1 innings), Narveson posted a 4.71 ERA.

Who Won the Trade?

Walker was in the twilight of his career at time of the trade, and the Cardinals still managed to hoodwink the Rockies. The deal didn't result in a championship for St. Louis, but advancing as far as the NLCS in both of Walker's seasons isn't too shabby. You might say that the club could have accomplished that without the former NL MVP, but he undoubtedly added another element of power to the Cards' lineup. Even in his final season, Walker was still an absolute beast -- in 100 games, he OBP'd .384 with 15 bombs. We only wish he could've stuck it out for one more year to capture a ring.

Colorado, meanwhile, unloaded one of the best players -- albeit an aging one -- in franchise history for damaged goods.