Before a team pulls the trigger on a July trade, it'll likely have revisited several trades from past years in order remind itself of why it would trade a productive veteran for an unproven minor leaguer or vice versa.
No general manager wants to be the one who makes what appears to be a relatively insignificant trade that turns out producing a terrific player for the other team. Last July, the Mariners were short on outfield depth and deep in power relievers so a deal to send right-hander Steve Delabar to the Blue Jays for Eric Thames appeared to make plenty of sense, right?
Thames, a left-handed hitting corner outfielder had a fairly productive rookie season in 2011 with a .262 batting average and 12 homers in just 95 games. But he had fallen out of favor in Toronto after struggling with a .652 OPS in 46 games in 2012.
Delabar, a 29-year-old journeyman who throws his fastball in the mid-90s, had a 4.17 ERA with excellent peripherals (36.2 IP, 23 H, 11 BB, 46 K). With several hard-throwing right-handers in the system, including Tom Wilhelmsen, Stephen Pryor and Carter Capps, Delabar apparently became expendable.
Nearly one year later, it looks as though Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos completely destroyed Jack Zduriencik in this deal. Thames was designated for assignment and later traded to Baltimore for a fringe minor leaguer last month. Delabar is having another stellar season (1.58 ERA, 12.8 K/9) and is one of five finalists for the last roster spot AL All-Star team.
Here's a look back at eight trades from last July that were much more notable, at least at the time.