9. Trading Rowdy Tellez for Trevor Richards
As a result of that awful relief pitching in May and June of 2021, Ross Atkins was forced to scramble and trade for pitchers Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards. On July 6, 2021, he moved left-handed hitting first baseman Rowdy Tellez to Milwaukee for Richards and prospect Bowden Francis. In other words, he compounded his Kirby Yates mistake above with another mistake in moving Tellez, who at the time was one of only three left-handed hitters getting regular at bats along with infielder Cavan Biggio and catcher Reese McGuire.
Tellez has gone on to slug 54 home runs with 143 RBI on the Brewers, while slashing .231/.311/.461/.772 with an OPS+ of 113 and bWAR of 1.5 over parts of three seasons. Richards has been just average at best as a Blue Jay, with a bWAR of 0.1, ERA of 4.44 and FIP of 4.25 over 123.2 innings; his ERA+ of 91 in Toronto means he’s actually been below league average on ERA. And Francis is now 27 years old and has only pitched 0.2 innings in MLB.