Some other guys the Cardinals traded off, let go, didn't re-sign, or watched leave to another league in the 19th Century were: Johnny Mize, Preacher Roe, Enos Slaughter, Red Shoendienst, Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Jim Bottomley, Walker Cooper, Keith Hernandez, Jerry Reuss, Willie McGee, John Tudor, Tom Herr, Dan Haren, Jose Cruz, Silver King, Tip O'Neill, Dave Foutz, Bob caruthers, Arlie Latham, Dummy Hoy, Marty Marion, Garry Templeton, Jack Clark, Lee Smith, and on and on.
Some of these deals were great, we got Frisch for Hornsby for example. And Ozzie for Tempy. Keith went to the rival Mets during an era where either team would win the NL East each year from 1985-1988, but we signed Clark. Herr brought in Bruno when Bob Horner (who was signed to be the 1 power guy in the lineup when Clark left) failed.
No excuse for getting rid of the Big Cat - Johnny Mize, or Joe Medwick (who helped our biggest rival of the 1940s the Brooklyn Dodgers knock the Cards out of contention a year later). Preacher Roe was traded off in that same decade, but we had an unbelievable amount of solid pitching then even with so many going off to war. Reuss was a lefty who would win around 200 games, and he was traded off as a young kid in the early 70s because he wanted to grow facial hair! Not a couple seasons later, and the Cardinals allowed guys to grow facial hair. Stupid. Reggie Smith and Jose Cruz were traded off then too, actually Cruz was sold off cheap to the Astros where he would be a star.
Every team makes bad moves. Some are clearly worse than others! I still say the Steve Carlton trade may be the Cardinals worst ever, but I may have to look a bit deeper into the Johnny Mize trade and get here...
"It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean