MLB Trade Deadline: The 20 Best Midseason Acquisitions in MLB History
As the calendar creeps closer and closer to July 31, MLB teams will need to have a better idea of what their approach will be at the MLB trade deadline. Buyers and sellers will emerge, and big names could end up on the market.
Some teams will give up at least one of their top prospects to bring in a player that can help lead them to the playoffs and a World Series title. There have been a number of times where a new addition before the trade deadline has sparked a team's success.
In other situations, the player has gone on to put up impressive numbers while their team just ended up missing their goals for the year.
In the long run, not all of these deals end up as great ones, but for the season in question, the deal was an outstanding move for the buyer.
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Post-Trade Stats: .396/.489/.743, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 2 SB (53 games)
Manny Ramirez had a great tenure in Boston with the Red Sox, but he eventually wore out his welcome and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 as part of a three-way deal which sent Jason Bay to Boston.
The Dodgers were 54-54 and two games out of first place before Ramirez played his first game for them. Ramirez dominated the National League after the deal and helped propel the Dodgers into the playoffs, where they would eventually lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS.
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Post-Trade Stats: 9-0, 1.53 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 44 K (11 starts)
While the Detroit Tigers' acquisition of Doyle Alexander can be viewed as one of baseball's worst trades when evaluated in the long-term, it was a great move for the Tigers in 1987.
The day before Alexander's first start, the Tigers were one-and-a-half games out of first place. They went 32-17 after dealing John Smoltz for Alexander, and they won the American League East.
Post-Trade Stats: .258/.368/.559, 23 HR, 58 RBI, 28 SB (90 games)
Carlos Beltran was dominant for the Houston Astros after they acquired him a little more than a third of the way into the 2004 season. He lead them into the playoffs and then he reached another level. Beltran hit eight home runs in two playoff series.
While Beltran did not lead the Astros to a World Series title, he was a fantastic addition. His performance earned him a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets that offseason.
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Post-Trade Stats: .310/.392/.612, 19 HR, 55 RBI, 1 SB (68 games)
Fred McGriff was in the middle of an outstanding season for the San Diego Padres when they traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Vince Moore, Donnie Elliot and Melvin Nieves in 1993. At the time, the Braves were playing well and were 53-40, but they were eight games out of first place.
Once McGriff arrived, the Braves could hardly be stopped. They won 51 of their next 69 games and would go on to take the division. Atlanta would lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, but McGriff hit over .400 in the series.
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Post-Trade Stats: 16-1, 2.69 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 155 K (20 starts)
The Chicago Cubs were certainly hoping that Rick Sutcliffe could turn things when they acquired him in 1984 after he posted a 5.15 ERA in his first 15 starts with the Cleveland Indians that season, but they never could have predicted how well he would actually pitch.
Sutcliffe made hitters look silly in his 20 starts with the Cubs during the 1984 regular season. While the Cubs did win the NL East, they would be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Bringing in Sutcliffe was costly for the Cubs, as it cost them Mel Hall and Joe Carter.
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Post-Trade Stats: 11-2, 1.65 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 128 K (17 starts)
On July 7, 2008, the Milwaukee Brewers were in third place in the National League Central and were four games out of first place. They then acquired CC Sabathia and would go on to edge out the New York Mets by one game for the Wild Card spot.
Sabathia's performance down the stretch had a lot to do with that. He put the team on his back whenever he was on the mound and looked unhittable at times. During the last week and a half of the season, he made three starts on three days rest. Sabathia gave up just two earned runs in 21.2 innings during these outings while picking up two wins.
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Post-Trade Stats: 10-1, 1.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 116 K (11 starts)
The shortest stint of Randy Johnson's career came with the Houston Astros, but his 11 starts during the regular season were something to remember. He was acquired by the Astros on July 31 for Freddy Garcia, John Halama and Carlos Guillen.
Houston was already in control of the National League Central when they traded for Johnson, but his addition helped them pull away and win the division by 12.5 games. Johnson gave up just three earned runs in two starts in the NLCS, but he lost both games and the Astros lost the series.
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Post-Trade Stats: 5-6, 3.69 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 72 K (13 starts)
The 2001 season was a magical one for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and one of the reasons that they were able to win the World Series that year was because of their midseason deal for Curt Schilling.
While Schilling was not great for the Diamondbacks in the regular season, he looked like a star in the playoffs. Schilling went all nine innings during his first three starts of the postseason. He would take the mound three more times in the World Series, including an outstanding performance in Game 7 on three days rest.
In his six starts, Schilling was incredible. He gave up just six earned runs in 48.1 innings for a 1.12 ERA. Schilling held hitters to a .150 batting average and struck out 56 batters.
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Post-Trade Stats: .348/.387/.527, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 33 SB (103 games)
The Lou Brock deal is one that has haunted the Chicago Cubs for years. They dealt a future Hall of Famer to the rival St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz.
Brock was already looking like a young star, and he continued to prove it after the deal. He helped lead the Cardinals from eighth place into the World Series. During the Fall Classic, Brock's success continued, as he hit .300 and drove in five on the way to a Cardinals championship.
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Post-Trade Stats: 7-3, 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 56 K (14 starts)
The Boston Red Sox's front office knew that the team had a chance to win a World Series in the late 1980s after they were so close in 1986. They would make a deal in 1988 that looked good at the time, but that looks poor in hindsight.
Boston traded away Curt Schilling and Brady Anderson for pitcher Mike Boddicker on July 29. The Red Sox were a game-and-a-half out of first when they made the deal. Boddicker pitched well and help the Red Sox finish in first in the tight AL East.
He made only one start in the postseason and got lit up. The Red Sox had an early exit from the postseason that year.
Post-Trade Stats: .358/.449/.632, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 2 SB (54 games)
Mark Teixeira was traded in blockbuster deals in both 2007 and 2008. The Atlanta Braves got the worst of both deals, as he cost them Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison and others in 2007, and they only got Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek for him in 2008.
Teixeira was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels in 2008 to help them in the playoffs since they had already established a huge lead in the American League West. While Teixeira delivered as promised, batting .467 in the ALDS, the Angels lost the series to the Boston Red Sox.
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Post-Trade Stats: .305/.391/.585, 20 HR, 60 RBI, 1 SB (78 games)
At age 34, David Justice set a career high with 41 home runs. He started the year with the Cleveland Indians, and his numbers got even better after he was traded to the New York Yankees. Cleveland acquired Jake Westbrook, Ricky Ledee and Zach Day in return.
Justice finished the postseason with 11 RBI, and he also took home the ALCS MVP award. The Yankees beat the New York Mets during the 2000 World Series, so it was definitely a successful deal.
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Post-Trade Stats: .297/.366/.547, 13 HR, 59 RBI, 2 SB (61 games)
On July 25, the Oakland Athletics were 54-47, and they were 18 games behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West. They traded for Jermaine Dye, and he helped them make their playoff push.
After the deal, the Athletics went 48-13 and won the American League Wild Card. Dye's performance played a big role in the Athletics' outstanding second half.
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Post-Trade Stats: .322/.384/.470, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB (65 games)
The Minnesota Twins benefited from dealing Bobby Kielty to the Toronto Blue Jays for Shannon Stewart in the middle of the 2003 season. Minnesota was able to win the American League Central by four games thanks in part to that trade.
Stewart played a big part in both driving in and scoring runs during his time with the Twins. He hit .400 in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, but that was not enough to lead the Twins to a series win.
Post-Trade Stats: 7-4, 3.39 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 74 K (12 starts)
The Philadelphia Phillies were looking for a pitcher that could help them reach the World Series in 2009, and they found the right player in Cliff Lee. They dealt Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Jason Knapp to the Cleveland Indians to get the deal done.
Once the postseason began, Lee kicked things into another gear. He made five starts in the playoffs and went 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA. The Phillies reached the World Series, but they lost to the New York Yankees.
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Post-Trade Stats: 7-1, 1.74 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 73 K (12 starts)
After bringing in Cliff Lee prior to the trade deadline in 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies made a similar move during 2010. This time, they traded for Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt helped the Phillies take the National League East title, and he looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball during the second half of 2010.
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Post-Trade Stats: .253/.411/.658, 24 HR, 42 RBI, 2 SB (51 games)
Mark McGwire was able to turn things up another notch after he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997. While McGwire did not reach the playoffs with the Cardinals in 1997, McGwire still helped them draw a lot of attention.
The Cardinals got outstanding production from McGwire, and it would serve as a sign of things to come for the following few seasons.
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Post-Trade Stats: .353/.419/.604, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB (63 games)
The St. Louis Cardinals were in first place in the National League Central on July 24, 2009, but their lead was slim. To try to improve their chances of winning the division, the Cardinals went out and acquired Matt Holliday from the Oakland Athletics.
Holliday helped the Cardinals accomplish that goal as they began to run away with the division. He put up outstanding numbers during the regular season and gave the Cardinals a reason to re-sign him after the year.
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Post-Trade Stats: 4-3, 2.55 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 47 K (7 starts)
The Toronto Blue Jays believed that they were one pitcher away from being a World Series champion in 1993, and they went out and got David Cone from the New York Mets.
Toronto was tied with the New York Yankees in first place in the American League East on the day that it made the Cone trade. It turned things around after that point and won the division and then the World Series.
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Post-Trade Stats: 14-3, 2.34 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 124 K (20 starts)
In 1977, the New York Mets made the decision to trade Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry. The deal would come to be known as " The Midnight Massacre."
Cincinnati got one of the best players to ever step on a pitchers mound in the deal. When the deal was made on June 15, the Reds were 32-27 and in second place in the NL West. The Reds finished the year in the same spot with an 88-74 record.