The Greatest Trade in Every MLB Franchise's History

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2013

The Greatest Trade in Every MLB Franchise's History

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    As the 2013 MLB trade deadline draws ever closer, now seems like the perfect time to look back at some of the best trades in the history of the game.

    Every team has a handful of truly memorable deals that have been made in their franchise’s history, and while some give hope for a deadline jackpot, others serve as a cautionary tale.

    For the sake of this article, the focus will be on the positive side of things, as I’ve attempted to name the best trade in the history of each MLB franchise. A handful of honorable mentions have been included for each team as well in an attempt to give a more complete overview of each team’s great trade history.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Curt Schilling Acquired from Phillies (July 26, 2000)

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    Details

    Diamondbacks Received: SP Curt Schilling

    In 13 starts after being acquired, Curt Schilling went 5-6 with a 3.69 ERA, but the Diamondbacks finished a distant third in the NL West. The move paid off in a big way the following season, though, as he went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and helped lead the Diamondbacks to a World Series title alongside fellow ace Randy Johnson.

     

    Phillies Received: SP Omar Daal, SP Nelson Figueroa, SP Vicente Padilla, 1B Travis Lee

    None of the four players in this deal wound up being stars, but Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla both provided a solid contribution. Lee had 20 home runs and 90 RBI in his first season in Philadelphia, while Padilla went 49-49 with a 3.98 ERA in six seasons, making the All-Star team in 2002. Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa were both out of Philadelphia by the end of 2001.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 28, 1998: LF Luis Gonzalez acquired from the Tigers for OF Karim Garcia.

    July 25, 2010: SP Joe Saunders, SP Patrick Corbin, SP Tyler Skaggs, RP Rafael Rodriguez acquired from the Angels for SP Dan Haren.

Atlanta Braves: John Smoltz Acquired from Tigers (August 12, 1987)

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    Braves Received: SP John Smoltz

    A 22nd-round selection, John Smoltz had done little to show he'd be a future ace during his time in the Tigers' organization leading up to the trade. However, he was 10-5 with a 2.79 ERA in his first full season in the Braves system, and he joined their rotation the following season.

    In total, he went on to pitch 20 seasons in Atlanta, going 210-147 and adding 154 saves with a 3.26 ERA in what may very well wind up being a Hall of Fame career.

     

    Tigers Received: SP Doyle Alexander

    Looking to lock up a playoff spot, the Detroit Tigers landed 36-year-old Doyle Alexander to serve as their fourth starter. He pitched better than they ever could have hoped, going 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 11 starts as the Tigers made the playoffs. However, he was 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA in two postseason starts, and he was retired two years later.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    February 16, 1953: 1B Joe Adcock, OF Jim Pendleton acquired in a four-team deal with the Dodgers, Reds and Phillies for 1B Earl Torgeson.

    July 18, 1993: 1B Fred McGriff acquired from the Padres for OF Melvin Nieves, RP Donnie Elliott, OF Vince Moore.

    April 6, 1995: CF Marquis Grissom acquired from the Expos for OF Roberto Kelly, OF Tony Tarasco, SP Esteban Yan.

    December 16, 2004: SP Tim Hudson acquired from the Athletics for SP Juan Cruz, SP Dan Meyer, OF Charles Thomas.

Baltimore Orioles: Frank Robinson Acquired from Reds (December 9, 1965)

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    Orioles Received: RF Frank Robinson

    Reds general manager Bill DeWitt made the controversial decision to deal superstar Frank Robinson to the Orioles in an effort to bolster the pitching staff, stating that Robinson was "an old 30" to try to justify the move.

    He ate his words immediately after Robinson hit .316 with 49 HR and 122 RBI and led the team to a World Series title in his first season with the team. In six total seasons with the team, he hit .300 with 179 HR and 545 RBI.

     

    Reds Received: SP Milt Pappas, RP Jack Baldschun, OF Dick Simpson

    Milt Pappas went 110-74 with a 3.24 ERA in eight seasons in the Orioles rotation before being dealt but wasn't nearly as good after joining the Reds. He was 30-29 with a 4.04 ERA overall in parts of three seasons with the team before he was traded to the Braves. The other two did virtually nothing in Cincinnati and were gone by 1967.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 4, 1968: SP Mike Cuellar, SS Enzo Hernandez, OF Tom Johnson acquired from the Astros for OF Curt Blefary, 3B John Mason.

    June 29, 1988: CF Brady Anderson, SP Curt Schilling acquired from the Red Sox for SP Mike Boddicker.

    February 8, 2008: CF Adam Jones, SP Chris Tillman, RP George Sherrill, RP Kameron Mickolio, SP Tony Butler from the Mariners for SP Erik Bedard.

    July 30, 2011: 1B Chris Davis, RP Tommy Hunter acquired from the Rangers for RP Koji Uehara.

Boston Red Sox: Jason Varitek/Derek Lowe Acquired from Mariners (July 31, 1997)

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    Red Sox Received: C Jason Varitek, SP Derek Lowe

    With Dan Wilson entrenched as the Mariners everyday catcher, the team dealt top prospect Jason Varitek as the centerpiece of the deal. He was the team's starting catcher by 1999, and he spent 15 seasons in Boston serving as the team's captain. Coincidentally, Lowe turned into an All-Star closer and saved 81 games in three seasons before moving to the rotation, where he won 52 games in three seasons.

     

    Mariners Received: RP Heathcliff Slocumb

    With the Mariners in contention for the AL West title and closer Norm Charlton struggling to the tune of a 7.27 ERA, the team needed bullpen help at the deadline. Heathcliff Slocumb was picked up, and he saved 10 games with a 4.13 ERA, as the Mariners won the division, but they bowed out in the first round.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 10, 1935: 1B Jimmie Foxx, SP Johnny Marcum acquired from the Athletics for SP Gordon Rhodes, C George Savino, $150,000.

    November 18, 1997: SP Pedro Martinez acquired from the Expos for SP Carl Pavano, SP Tony Armas Jr.

    November 28, 2003: SP Curt Schilling acquired from the Diamondbacks for SP Casey Fossum, SP Jorge De La Rosa, RP Brandon Lyon, OF Mike Goss.

    November 24, 2005: SP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell, RP Guillermo Mota acquired from the Marlins for SS Hanley Ramirez, SP Anibal Sanchez, RP Harvey Garcia, RP Jesus Delgado.

Chicago Cubs: Ryne Sandberg Acquired from Phillies (January 27, 1982)

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    Cubs Received: 2B Ryne Sandberg, SS Larry Bowa

    The Phillies opted to deal 36-year-old Larry Bowa prior to the 1982 season rather than extend him, and because of his age, prospect Ryne Sandberg was thrown in as well to acquire Ivan De Jesus.

    Bowa was the Cubs starting shortstop for three seasons, while Sandberg went on to a Hall of Fame career in which he hit .285 BA with 282 home runs and 1,061 RBI to go along with nine Gold Gloves as perhaps the best trade throw-in ever.

     

    Phillies Received: SS Ivan De Jesus

    Originally acquired from the Dodgers, Ivan De Jesus spent five seasons as the Cubs starting shortstop and averaged a line of .261/.330/.336 with 154 steals in his time with the team. He spent three more solid seasons as an everyday player in Philadelphia before being traded to the Braves.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    April 21, 1966: SP Fergie Jenkins, OF Adolfo Phillips, OF John Herrnstein acquired from the Phillies for SP Larry Jackson, SP Bob Buhl.

    June 13, 1984: SP Rick Sutcliffe, RP George Frazier, C Ron Hassey acquired from the Indians for OF Joe Carter, OF Mel Hall, SP Don Schulze, SP Darryl Banks.

    March 30, 1992: OF Sammy Sosa, RP Ken Patterson acquired from the White Sox for OF George Bell.

    July 23, 2003: 3B Aramis Ramirez, CF Kenny Lofton acquired from the Pirates for SS Jose Hernandez, 2B Bobby Hill, SP Matt Bruback.

    November 25, 2003: 1B Derrek Lee acquired from the Marlins for 1B Hee-Seop Choi, SP Mike Nannini.

Chicago White Sox: Nellie Fox Acquired from Athletics (October 19, 1949)

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    White Sox Received: 2B Nellie Fox

    Though he spent three seasons with the A's prior to being traded, Nellie Fox never really got a chance at regular playing time before being traded. His career took off upon returning to Chicago, and in 14 seasons with the team, he made 12 All-Star appearances and won the 1959 AL MVP while racking up 2,470 hits on his way to Hall of Fame induction.

     

    Athletics Received: C Joe Tipton

    Joe Tipton was a backup catcher for two seasons with the White Sox prior to being traded. He continued to serve as a backup with the A's, hitting .243/.361/.363 with 12 home runs before being waived midway through the 1952 season.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 9, 1914: 2B Eddie Collins acquired from Athletics for $50,000.

    November 10, 1948: SP Billy Pierce, $10,000 acquired from the Tigers for C Aaron Robinson.

    April 30, 1951: LF Minnie Minoso, OF Paul Lehner acquired in three-team deal with Indians and Athletics for OF Dave Philley, OF Gus Zernial.

    October 12, 1966: SP Wilbur Wood acquired from Pirates for SP Juan Pizarro.

    November 11, 1998: 1B Paul Konerko acquired from Reds for CF Mike Cameron. 

Cincinnati Reds: Joe Morgan Acquired from Astros (November 29, 1971)

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    Reds Received: 2B Joe Morgan, SP Jack Billingham, CF Cesar Geronimo, OF Ed Armbrister, 3B Denis Menke

    Joe Morgan was a solid player during his time in Houston, but his career took off following the trade. He was an All-Star in all eight of his seasons in Cincinnati, serving as the catalyst of the Big Red Machine and earning back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1975 and 1976.

    On top of that, Jack Billingham won 87 games in six seasons with the Reds, and Cesar Geronimo won four Gold Glove awards in nine years with the team.

     

    Astros Received: 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms, UT Jimmy Stewart

    One of the better sluggers of his era, Lee May was coming off of three-straight 30-HR seasons at the time of the trade and put up a .274/.317/.471 line with 81 home runs in three seasons with the Astros. Tommy Helms replaced Joe Morgan at second and spent three solid seasons as a starter in Houston.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    May 22, 1913: 3B Heinie Groh, P Red Ames, OF Josh Devore, $20,000 acquired from the Giants for P Art Fromme, IF Eddie Grant.

    July 20, 1916: OF Edd Roush, 3B Bill McKechnie, SP/Manager Christy Mathewson acquired from the Giants for SS/Manager Buck Herzog, OF Red Killefer.

    November 22, 1920: SP Eppa Rixey acquired from the Phillies for SP Jimmy Ring, OF Greasy Neale.

    March 14, 1932: C Ernie Lombardi, OF Babe Herman, 3B Wally Gilbert acquired from the Dodgers for 2B Tony Cuccinello, 3B Joe Stripp, C Clyde Sukeforth.

    May 29, 1971: OF George Foster acquired from the Giants for SS Frank Duffy, RP Vern Geishert.

    April 7, 2006: 2B Brandon Phillips acquired from the Indians for RP Jeff Stevens.

Cleveland Indians: Tris Speaker Acquired from Red Sox (April 12, 1916)

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    Indians Received: CF Tris Speaker

    After nine seasons with the Red Sox in which he hit .337/.414/.482 and won the 1912 AL MVP, the Indians acquired a 28-year-old Tris Speaker with plenty left in the tank.

    He went on to hit .354/.444/.520 in 11 seasons with the Indians. And his career wrapped up with 3,514 hits and a .345 average, as he goes down as one of the best outfielders in baseball history.

     

    Red Sox Received: SP Sad Sam Jones, 3B Fred Thomas, $55,000

    The prize of the trade for Boston, aside from the cash, was 22-year-old right-hander Sad Sam Jones. After two seasons of limited use, he joined the rotation in 1918 and went 64-57 with a 3.37 ERA over the next four years before being traded to the Yankees.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    July 30, 1910 (Naps): OF "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, 2B Morrie Rath acquired from the Athletics for OF Bris Lord.

    December 14, 1948: SP Early Wynn, 1B Mickey Vernon acquired from the Senators for 1B Eddie Robinson, SP Joe Haynes, RP Ed Klieman.

    December 6, 1989: C Sandy Alomar, 2B Carlos Baerga, OF Chris James acquired from the Padres for RF Joe Carter.

    December 10, 1991: CF Kenny Lofton, UT Dave Rohde acquired from the Astros for C Ed Taubensee, RP Willie Blair.

    December 20, 1993: SS Omar Vizquel acquired from the Mariners for DH Reggie Jefferson, SS Felix Fermin, cash.

    June 27, 2002: SP Cliff Lee, CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Brandon Phillips, 1B Lee Stevens acquired from the Expos for SP Bartolo Colon and RP Tim Drew.

Colorado Rockies: Dante Bichette Acquired from Brewers (November 17, 1992)

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    Rockies Received: RF Dante Bichette

    Already 29 years old at the time of the trade, Dante Bichette had just a .683 OPS and 38 home runs in 1,365 at-bats during his time with the Angels and Brewers to start his career. Thanks in part to the Coors Field effect, his career took off in Colorado, as he hit .316/.352/.540 with 201 home runs and 826 RBI and made four All-Star teams in eight seasons with the Rockies.

     

    Brewers Received: LF Kevin Reimer

    Selected with the No. 11 pick in the 1992 expansion draft, Kevin Reimer hit .268/.334/.455 with 36 home runs in the two seasons leading up to the trade. He had a decent first season with the Brewers, posting a .696 OPS with 13 home runs and 60 RBI, but that was his only season in Milwaukee, as he left for Japan the following offseason.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    November 10, 2008: LF Carlos Gonzalez, RP Huston Street, SP Greg Smith acquired from the A's for LF Matt Holliday.

    July 23, 2009: RP Rafael Betancourt acquired from the Indians for SP Connor Graham.

Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera Acquired from Marlins (December 4, 2007)

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    Tigers Received: 3B Miguel Cabrera, SP Dontrelle Willis

    The Tigers took advantage of a classic fire-sale move by the Marlins to land the best hitter on the planet, and he was already a star when the deal was made, coming off of a season in which he posted a .965 OPS with 34 home runs and 119 RBI.

    Dontrelle Willis looked like a terrific pickup as well, despite the fact he was coming off of a season in which he went 10-15 with a 5.17 ERA. Things only got worse in Detroit though, and he provided virtually nothing.

     

    Marlins Received: CF Cameron Maybin, SP Andrew Miller, RP Burke Badenhop, RP Frankie De La Cruz, C Mike Rabelo, SP Dallas Trahern

    Cameron Maybin looked like a future star when he reached the majors for the Marlins as a 20-year-old, but he has never been able to put it all together. Andrew Miller (BOS) and Burke Badenhop (MIL) have found roles in the bullpen elsewhere but did little for the Marlins, while the other three players in the trade provided next to nothing.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    May 18, 1946: 3B George Kell acquired from the Athletics for OF Barney McCosky.

    April 12, 1960: 1B Norm Cash acquired from the Indians for 3B Steve Demeter.

    March 24, 1984: RP Willie Hernandez, 1B Dave Bergman acquired from the Phillies for RF Glenn Wilson, UT John Wockenfuss.

    December 8, 2009: SP Max Scherzer, CF Austin Jackson, RP Phil Coke, RP Daniel Schlereth acquired in three-team deal with Diamondbacks and Yankees for CF Curtis Granderson, SP Edwin Jackson.

    July 30, 2011: SP Doug Fister, RP David Pauley acquired from the Mariners for RP Charlie Furbush, OF Casper Wells, RP Chance Ruffin, UT Francisco Martinez.

Houston Astros: Jeff Bagwell Acquired from Red Sox (August 30, 1990)

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    Astros Received: 1B Jeff Bagwell

    Jeff Bagwell was selected in the fourth round of the 1989 draft and hit .333 with four home runs and 61 RBI in his first pro season in 1990. He was the Astros starting first baseman the following season, and he hit .294 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI to win NL Rookie of the Year honors. When all was said and done, he hit .297/.408/.540 with 440 home runs and 1,529 RBI in 15 seasons.

     

    Red Sox Received: RP Larry Andersen

    Leading their division by 6.5 games, the Red Sox picked up Larry Andersen to bolster their bullpen. He had a 1.95 ERA in 73.2 innings of work at the time of the trade, then went on to post a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings with Boston in helping the team reach the postseason before departing in free agency in the offseason.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    October 24, 1974: OF Jose Cruz acquired from the Cardinals for cash.

    April 6, 1975: SP Joe Niekro acquired from the Braves for $35,000.

    December 10, 1982: SP Mike Scott acquired from the Mets for OF Danny Heep.

    June 24, 2004: CF Carlos Beltran acquired in three-team deal with Athletics and Royals for RP Octavio Dotel, C John Buck, cash.

Kansas City Royals: Amos Otis Acquired from Mets (December 3, 1969)

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    Royals Received: CF Amos Otis, SP Bob Johnson

    The then 23-year-old Amos Otis had just 152 big league at-bats under his belt at the time of the trade, but he immediately took over as the Royals everyday center fielder.

    He made his first of five All-Star appearances in 1970 and went on to hit .280/.347/.433 with 193 home runs, 992 RBI and 340 steals in 14 seasons with Kansas City. Bob Johnson went 8-13 with a 3.07 ERA in his lone season with the team.

     

    Mets Received: 3B Joe Foy

    Joe Foy had a terrific season in 1969, hitting .262 with 11 home runs, 71 RBI and 37 steals while playing seven different positions as one of the game's most versatile players. His average fell to .236 following the trade though, and he was out of baseball by the end of the 1971 season.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 2, 1971: 1B John Mayberry , IF David Grangaard acquired from the Astros for RP Jim York, RP Lance Clemons.

    November 30, 1972: DH Hal McRae, SP Wayne Simpson acquired from the Reds for SP Roger Nelson, RF Richie Scheinblum.

    May 16, 1976: SP Larry Gura acquired from the Yankees for C Fran Healy.

    December 8, 1983: 1B Steve Balboni, SP Roger Erickson acquired from the Yankees for RP Mike Armstrong, C Duane Dewey.

    February 15, 1988: RP Jeff Montgomery acquired from the Reds for OF Van Snider.

Los Angeles Angels: Nolan Ryan Acquired from Mets (December 10, 1971)

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    Angels Received: SP Nolan Ryan, OF Leroy Stanton, C Frank Estrada, P Don Rose

    A raw talent in his four-plus seasons with the Mets, Nolan Ryan was 29-38 with a 3.58 ERA and 8.7 K/9 in 105 games (74 starts) in New York. He took his career to another level immediately upon arriving to California, going 19-16 with a 2.28 ERA and AL-high 329 strikeouts in his first season with the team.

    In eight total seasons with the Angels, he went 138-121 with a 3.07 ERA while leading the league in strikeouts seven times before leaving for Houston in free agency.

     

    Mets Received: SS Jim Fregosi

    In 11 seasons with the Angels, Jim Fregosi was a six-time All-Star, and in his nine seasons as an everyday player, he averaged a line of .268/.340/.404 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. He was still just 30 at the time of the deal, but his production dropped off dramatically. He hit just .233 BA, 5 HR and 43 RBI in 146 games over parts of two seasons before he was sold to the Rangers.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 14, 1960: SP Dean Chance acquired from the Senators for OF Joe Hicks.

    December 5, 1977: C/OF Brian Downing, SP Dave Frost, SP Chris Knapp acquired from the White Sox for RF Bobby Bonds, OF Thad Bosley, SP Richard Dotson.

    July 13, 2001: UT Chone Figgins acquired from the Rockies for OF Kimera Bartee.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Pee Wee Reese Acquired from Red Sox (July 18, 1939)

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    Dodgers Received: SS Pee Wee Reese

    Originally signed by the Pirates, then acquired by the Red Sox, it was not until he joined the Dodgers as a 21-year-old that Pee Wee Reese saw the majors. He was a solid contributor immediately and went on to hit .269/.366/.377 with 2,170 hits while making 10 All-Star teams on his way to a Hall of Fame career.

     

    Red Sox Received: SP Red Evans, $35,000

    Red Evans was 32 at the time of the trade and had a 6.21 ERA with 111.2 innings of work under his belt. He's never again seen the majors after the trade, though, and was out of baseball altogether by 1942. In the end, $35,000 was likely not worth giving up a future Hall of Famer.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    April 3, 1974: 1B Pedro Guerrero acquired from the Indians for RP Bruce Ellingsen.

    June 15, 1976: RF Reggie Smith acquired from the Cardinals for C Joe Ferguson, OF Bob Detherage, UT Fred Tisdale.

    December 13, 2005: RF Andre Ethier acquired from the A's for DH Milton Bradley, IF Antonio Perez.

    July 31, 2008: LF Manny Ramirez acquired in a three-team deal with the Pirates and Red Sox for 3B Andy LaRoche, RP Bryan Morris.

Miami Marlins: Mike Lowell Acquired from Yankees (February 1, 1999)

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    Marlins Received: 3B Mike Lowell

    One of the top prospects in baseball in 1998 and 1999, the Yankees had no spot for Mike Lowell at the big league level with Scott Brosius entrenched at third. After a solid first season in Florida, he took over as the everyday starter the following season and went on to hit .272/.339/.462 with 143 home runs and 578 RBI in seven seasons with the Marlins.

     

    Yankees Received: SP Ed Yarnell, RP Mark Johnson, SP Todd Noel

    This package was built around left-hander Ed Yarnell, who went 13-5 with a 3.76 ERA the previous season and was expected to be a part of the Yankees rotation moving forward. He wound up pitching just seven games over two years for New York, while the other two never suited up for the big league club.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    June 24, 1993: RF Gary Sheffield, RP Rich Rodriguez acquired from Padres for RP Trevor Hoffman, RP Andres Berumen, RP Jose Martinez.

    July 17, 1993: RP Robb Nen, RP Kurt Miller acquired from the Rangers for RP Cris Carpenter.

    July 8, 1999: SP Brad Penny, RP Vladimir Nunez, OF Abraham Nunez from the Diamondbacks for RP Matt Mantei.

Milwaukee Brewers: Rollie Fingers Acquired from Cardinals (Dec. 12, 1980)

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    Brewers Received: RP Rollie Fingers, C Ted Simmons, SP Pete Vuckovich

    This trade went a long way towards helping the team to a 1981 postseason trip, as all three players played a major role. Rollie Fingers saved 97 games in four seasons for the team and won the AL MVP and Cy Young in 1981. Ted Simmons was a two-time All-Star as the everyday catcher, while Pete Vuckovich won the Cy Young in 1982 and then played Clu Haywood in Major League.

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Larry Sorensen, RF Sixto Lezcano, SP Dave LaPoint, OF David Green

    Larry Sorensen was just 25 at the time of this trade and had already won 52 games with a 3.72 ERA in four big league seasons. He went just 41-57 with a 4.56 ERA the rest of his career though, and only spent one year in St. Louis. The other three guys all saw time for St. Louis, but their contributions were negligible.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 6, 1976: 1B Cecil Cooper acquired from the Red Sox for 1B George Scott, OF Bernie Carbo.

    June 15, 1977: SP Mike Caldwell acquired from the Reds for SP Dick O'Keefe, SS Garry Pyka.

    December 9, 1977: LF Ben Oglivie acquired from the Tigers for SP Jim Slaton, RP Rich Folkers.

    August 31, 1996: RF Jeromy Burnitz acquired from the Indians for 3B Kevin Seitzer.

    July 7, 2008: SP CC Sabathia acquired from the Indians for 1B Matt LaPorta, OF Michael Brantley, SP Zach Jackson, RP Rob Bryson.

    July 27, 2012: SS Jean Segura, SP Johnny Hellweg, SP Ariel Pena acquired from the Angels for SP Zack Greinke.

Minnesota Twins: Johan Santana Acquired from the Marlins (December 13, 1999)

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    Twins Received: SP Johan Santana, cash

    Johan Santana spent the majority of his first three seasons in Minnesota pitching in relief before breaking out with a 12-3 record and 3.07 ERA in 2003 as a swingman to finish seventh in AL Cy Young voting.

    He joined the rotation full-time the following season, and over the next four seasons went 70-32 with a 2.89 ERA while winning a pair of Cy Young awards as one of the top pitchers of the 2000s.

     

    Marlins Received: SP Jared Camp

    Santana was originally selected selected by the Marlins from the Astros in the Rule V draft, but they flipped him that same day for right-hander Jared Camp. He would never reach the majors and was out of baseball by 2002.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    February 18, 1954 (Senators): 1B Roy Sievers acquired from Browns for OF Gil Coan.

    May 2, 1963: SP Jim Perry acquired from the Indians for SP Jack Kralick.

    July 31, 1989: SP Kevin Tapani, RP Rick Aguilera, SP David West, RP Tim Drummond, RP Jack Savage acquired from the Mets for SP Frank Viola.

    November 14, 2003: RP Joe Nathan, SP Francisco Liriano, SP Boof Bonser acquired from the Giants for C A.J. Pierzynski.

New York Mets: Mike Piazza Acquired from the Marlins (May 22,1998)

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    Mets Received: C Mike Piazza

    He was at his best during his time with the Dodgers, but Mike Piazza still had plenty left in the tank when he joined the Mets. In his eight seasons with the Mets, he hit .296/.373/.542 with 220 home runs and 655 RBI while making eight All-Star appearances and serving as the face of the franchise.

     

    Marlins Received: CF Preston Wilson, SP Ed Yarnall, SP Geoff Goetz

    Preston Wilson was one of the brightest young players in the game at the time of this trade, and in his four full seasons with the Marlins, he posted an average line of .265/.335/.477 with 26 home runs, 82 RBI and 22 steals. The two pitchers never pitched at the big league level for the Mets.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    February 7, 1979: RP Jesse Orosco, SP Greg Field acquired from the Twins for SP Jerry Koosman.

    April 1, 1982: SP Ron Darling, SP Walt Terrell acquired from the Rangers for 1B Lee Mazzilli.

    June 15, 1983: 1B Keith Hernandez acquired from the Cardinals for RP Neil Allen, SP Rick Ownbey.

    December 7, 1984: 3B Howard Johnson acquired from the Tigers for SP Walt Terrell.

    December 10, 1984: C Gary Carter acquired from the Expos for SS Hubie Brooks, SP Floyd Youmans, C Mike Fitzgerald, CF Herm Winningham.

    December 6, 1989: RP John Franco, OF Don Brown acquired from the Reds for RP Randy Myers, RP Kip Gross.

    December 2, 1996: 1B John Olerud acquired from the Blue Jays for SP Robert Person.

    July 28, 2011: SP Zack Wheeler acquired from the Giants for RF Carlos Beltran.

New York Yankees: Babe Ruth Acquired from the Red Sox (January 3, 1920)

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    Yankees Received: RF Babe Ruth

    With a batting line of .322 BA, 29 HR and 114 RBI and a pitching record of 9-5 with a 2.97 ERA over 133.1 innings, Babe Ruth had perhaps the best all-around season in baseball history in 1919. He gave up pitching upon joining the Yankees and went onto perhaps the best career in baseball history, hitting .342/.474/.690 with 714 home runs and 2,220 RBI.

     

    Red Sox Received: $100,000

    Whether it was Ruth asking for his salary to be doubled to $20,000 or the rumors of Red Sox owner Harry Frazee looking to fund a theatrical production were true, the Red Sox dealt the best player in the history of the game for $100,000. The team turned down an offer of $60,000, and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson from the White Sox in favor of the full $100,000.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 11, 1959: RF Roger Maris, SS Joe DeMaestri, 1B Kent Hadley acquired from the A's for RF Hank Bauer, SP Don Larsen, 1B Norm Siebern, 1B Marv Throneberry.

    March 22, 1972: RP Sparky Lyle acquired from the Red Sox for 1B Danny Cater, SS Mario Guerrero.

    November 27, 1972: 3B Graig Nettles, C Jerry Moses acquired from the Indians for 1B John Ellis, RF Charlie Spikes, 3B Jerry Kenney, OF Rusty Torres.

    December 11, 1975: 2B Willie Randolph, SP Dock Ellis, SP Ken Brett acquired from the Pirates for SP Doc Medich.

    November 3, 1992: RF Paul O'Neill, 1B Joe DeBerry acquired from the Reds for OF Roberto Kelly.

    July 28, 1995: SP David Cone acquired from the Blue Jays for SP Marty Janzen, SP Jason Jarvis, SP Mike Gordon.

    December 7, 1995: 1B Tino Martinez, RP Jeff Nelson, RP Jim Mecir acquired from the Mariners for SP Sterling Hitchcock, 3B Russ Davis.

Oakland Athletics: Dennis Eckersley Acquired from Cubs (April 3, 1987)

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    Athletics Received: RP Dennis Eckersley, IF Dan Rohn

    After going 151-128 with a 3.67 ERA in 12 seasons as a starter, the A's moved Dennis Eckersley upon acquiring him. He went on to rack up 320 saves in nine seasons with the team, making the All-Star team four times and winning AL MVP and Cy Young in 1992 on his way to making the Hall of Fame.

     

    Cubs Received: SS Brian Guinn, RP Mark Leonette, OF Dave Wilder

    None of these three players reached the majors for the Cubs or any other team, as this may be the most lopsided trade that no one ever talks about.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    June 21, 1989: LF Rickey Henderson acquired from the Yankees for OF Luis Polonia, RP Eric Plunk, RP Greg Cadaret.

    December 18, 2004: SP Dan Haren, RP Kiko Calero, 1B Daric Barton acquired from the Cardinals for SP Mark Mulder.

Philadelphia Phillies: Steve Carlton Acquired from Cardinals (February 25, 1972)

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    Details

    Phillies Received: SP Steve Carlton

    When a 27-year-old Steve Carlton followed up a 19-loss season in 1970 with a 20-win season in 1971, the Cardinals decided to sell high on the left-hander. He went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA and 310 K's in his first year in Philadelphia and took off from there. He wrapped up his career with 329 wins and 4,136 strikeouts and goes down as one of the best left-handers in baseball history.

     

    Cardinals Received: SP Rick Wise

    Rick Wise racked up 75 wins with a 3.60 ERA in his first seven seasons in the league and was coming off of his best season in 1971 when he went 17-14 with a 2.88 ERA. He spent just two seasons with the Cardinals, winning 16 in both of them, before being dealt to the Red Sox in a deal for outfielder Reggie Smith.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 26, 1917: CF Cy Williams acquired from the Cubs for CF Dode Paskert.

    December 5, 1963: SP Jim Bunning, C Gus Triandos acquired from the Tigers for CF Dom Demeter, RP Jack Hamilton.

    April 2, 1992: SP Curt Schilling acquired from the Astros for SP Jason Grimsley.

    November 18, 1997: RF Bobby Abreu acquired from the Rays for SS Kevin Stocker.

    July 29, 2009: SP Cliff Lee, OF Ben Francisco acquired from the Indians for SP Carlos Carrasco, 2B Jason Donald, C Lou Marson, SP Jason Knapp.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Brian Giles Acquired from Indians (November 18, 1998)

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    Details

    Pirates Received: LF Brian Giles

    After hitting 33 home runs and driving in 127 runs in 727 at-bats as a fourth outfielder for the Indians in 1997 and 1998 combined, an already 27-year-old Brian Giles was traded to the Pirates. Finally given everyday at-bats, he thrived in Pittsburgh, hitting .308/.426/.591 with 165 home runs and 506 RBI in four-plus seasons with the team.

     

    Indians Received: RP Ricardo Rincon

    The ever-valuable left-handed reliever, Ricardo Rincon, posted a 2.91 ERA in 60 games with the Pirates in 1998. He continued to be frequently used in his time in Cleveland, posting a 3.73 ERA in 207 games over three-plus seasons before being dealt to the A's at the deadline in 2002.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    June 28, 1979: 3B Bill Madlock RP Dave Roberts, UT Lenny Randle acquired from the Giants for SP Ed Whitson, RP Al Holland, SP Fred Breining.

    July 23, 1986: 3B/RF Bobby Bonilla acquired from the White Sox for SP Jose DeLeon.

    April 1, 1987: CF Andy Van Slyke, C Mike LaValliere, SP Mike Dunne acquired from the Cardinals for C Tony Pena.

    June 3, 2009: SP Jeff Locke, SP Charlie Morton, OF Gorkys Hernandez acquired from the Braves for OF Nate McLouth.

San Diego Padres: Ken Caminiti Acquired from Astros (December 28, 1994)

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    Details

    Padres Received: 3B Ken Caminiti, CF Steve Finley, SS Andujar Cedeno, 1B Roberto Petagine, SP Brian Williams, RP Sean Fesh.

    The two biggest pieces of this deal on either side were Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley, as they both played a major role in leading the Padres to the 1998 World Series. Caminiti hit .295/.384/.540 with 121 home runs in four seasons with the team, including winning the 1996 NL MVP. Finley also spent four seasons with the team, hitting .276/.334/.458 with 89 home runs and a pair of Gold Glove awards.

     

    Astros Received: RF Derek Bell, SS Ricky Gutierrez, RP Doug Brocail, LF Phil Plantier, IF Craig Shipley, RP Pedro Martinez.

    Derek Bell turned into a solid run producer during his five seasons in Houston, as he hit .284/.341/.430 with 74 home runs and 444 RBI, including a pair of 100-RBI seasons. Though the rest of this group provided little for the Astros in the grand scheme of things.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    January 25, 1978: SP Gaylord Perry acquired from the Rangers for RP Dave Tomlin, $125,000.

    March 29, 1999: 3B Phil Nevin, RP Keith Volkman acquired from the Angels for IF Andy Sheets, OF Gus Kennedy.

    January 6, 2006: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Chris Young, OF Terrmel Sledge acquired from the Rangers for SP Adam Eaton, RP Akinori Otsuka, C Billy Killian.

San Francisco Giants: Christy Mathewson Acquired from Reds (December 15, 1900)

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    Details

    Giants Received: SP Christy Mathewson

    He had yet to pitch a game at the time of this deal, but Christy Mathewson would go on to become one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. He wrapped up his 17-year career with a 373-188 record and 2.13 ERA. He was a member of the first Hall of Fame class in 1936.

     

    Reds Received: SP Amos Rusie

    An eventual Hall of Famer who finished his career with 246 wins, Amos Rusie was just 30 years old at the time of the trade but had not pitched in two years. He appeared in just three games for the Reds, posting an 8.59 ERA before retiring.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 11, 1941: 1B Johnny Mize acquired from the Cardinals for SP Bill Lohrman, C Ken O'Dea, 1B Johnny McCarthy, $50,000.

    July 5, 1987: LF Kevin Mitchell, SP Dave Dravecky, RP Craig Lefferts acquired from the Padres for RP Mark Davis, SP Mark Grant, 3B Chris Brown, RP Keith Comstock. 

    March 13, 1988: RP Rod Beck acquired from the A's for SP Charlie Corbell.

    July 30, 2001: SP Jason Schmidt, OF John Vander Wal acquired from the Pirates for SP Ryan Vogelsong, OF Armando Rios.

    July 27, 2012: 2B Marco Scutaro acquired from the Rockies for 2B Charlie Culberson.

Seattle Mariners: Randy Johnson Acquired from Expos (May 25, 1989)

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    Details

    Mariners Received: SP Randy Johnson, SP Brian Holman, RP Gene Harris

    In his season-and-a-half with the Expos, Randy Johnson stepped into the Mariners rotation and made the All-Star team in his first season. All told, he was 130-74 with a 3.42 ERA in 10 seasons with the team before being traded to the Astros. Brian Holman brought a solid return as well, as he was 24-25 with a 3.86 ERA in two seasons in Seattle.

     

    Expos Received: SP Mark Langston, SP Mike Campbell

    Mark Langston led the AL in strikeouts three times in five-plus seasons with the Mariners before being dealt to the Expos as a 28-year-old early on in the 1989 season. He was 12-9 with a 2.39 ERA and 8.9 K/9 the rest of the '89 season in Montreal but left in free agency that offseason to sign with the Angels. Campbell never pitched for the Expos.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    July 21, 1988: RF Jay Buhner, SP Rich Balabon, SP Troy Evers acquired from the Yankees for DH Ken Phelps.

    July 30, 1996: SP Jamie Moyer acquired from the Red Sox for OF Darren Bragg.

St. Louis Cardinals: Lou Brock Acquired from Cubs (June 15, 1964)

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    Details

    Cardinals Received: LF Lou Brock, SP Paul Toth, RP Jack Spring

    In two full seasons with the Cubs, Lou Brock showed flashes of his talent, but he hit just .260 and struck out much more than you would like for a leadoff hitter. He immediately stepped his game up after the trade though, hitting .348 BA, 12 HR, 44 RBI and 33 SB in 103 games after the trade. He went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career, recording 3,023 hits and 938 steals in 19 seasons.

     

    Cubs Received: SP Ernie Broglio, RP Bobby Shantz, OF Doug Clemens

    Though he was coming off of an 18-win season in 1963, Ernie Broglio was essentially done at the time of this trade, as his arm was burned out at the age of 28. Bobby Shantz was a former All-Star and the 1952 NL MVP, but he was 38 years old, and the 1964 season would be his last.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    May 8, 1966: 1B Orlando Cepeda acquired from the Giants for SP Ray Sadecki.

    June 7, 1981: SP Joaquin Andujar acquired from the Astros for OF Tony Scott.

    October 21, 1981: CF Willie McGee acquired from the Yankees for SP Bob Sykes.

    December 10, 1981: SS Ozzie Smith, SP Steve Mura, SP Al Olmsted acquired from the Padres for SS Garry Templeton, RF Sixto Lezcano, RP Luis DeLeon.

    July 31, 1997: 1B Mark McGwire acquired from the A's for RP T.J. Mathews, SP Eric Ludwick, SP Blake Stein.

    March 23, 2000: CF Jim Edmonds acquired from the Angels for SP Kent Bottenfield, 2B Adam Kennedy.

    December 13, 2003: SP Adam Wainwright, SP Jason Marquis, RP Ray King acquired from the Braves for RF J.D. Drew, UT Eli Marrero.

    July 31, 2012: RP Edward Mujica acquired from the Marlins for 3B Zack Cox. 

Tampa Bay Rays: Ben Zobrist Acquired from Astros (July 12, 2006)

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    Details

    Rays Received: 2B Ben Zobrist, RP Mitch Talbot

    A sixth-round pick in the 2004 draft, Ben Zobrist was hitting .327 with a .907 OPS as a 25-year-old in Double-A at the time of the trade. He was up and down the next few seasons before breaking out in 2009 with a .948 OPS and 27 home runs while playing seven different positions. He has remained one of the most versatile players in the game and made his second All-Star team this season.

     

    Astros Received: 1B Aubrey Huff, cash

    Looking to add some pop at the deadline, the Astros picked up free-agent-to-be Aubrey Huff for the stretch run. The 29-year-old went on to post an .819 OPS with 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 68 games with the Astros. But the team fell short of the postseason, and he departed for Baltimore in free agency at the end of the season.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    July 30, 2004: SP Scott Kazmir, RP Jose Diaz acquired from the Mets for SP Victor Zambrano, RP Bartolome Fortunato.

    June 20, 2006: RP J.P. Howell acquired from the Royals for OF Joey Gathright, IF Fernando Cortez.

    July 28, 2007: RP Grant Balfour acquired from the Brewers for SP Seth McClung.

    November 28, 2007: SP Matt Garza, SS Jason Bartlett, RP Eddie Morlan acquired from the Twins for RF Delmon Young, IF Brendan Harris, OF Jason Pridie.

Texas Rangers: Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison Acquired from Braves (July 31, 2007)

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    Details

    Rangers Received: SS Elvis Andrus, SP Matt Harrison, CP Neftali Feliz, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, RP Beau Jones

    The top prospect of this deal was flame-thrower Neftali Feliz, and he went on to win the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year while saving a rookie-record 40 games, though injuries have taken their toll since. Shortstop Elvis Andrus and left-hander Matt Harrison have both also made All-Star appearances, and this trade is a big reason why the team won back-to-back AL pennants. 

     

    Braves Received: 1B Mark Teixeira, RP Ron Mahay

    Looking to secure a playoff spot, the Braves sold the farm to acquire the prize of the deadline in Mark Teixeira. He hit .317 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI in 54 games in Atlanta, but they failed to make the playoffs, and Teixeira was traded to the Angels for Casey Kotchman on the deadline the following season.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 5, 1988: 1B Rafael Palmeiro, SP Jamie Moyer, RP Drew Hall acquired from the Cubs for RP Mitch Williams, RP Steve Wilson, IF Curt Wilkerson, SP Paul Kilgus, OF Pablo Delgado, IF Luis Benitez.

    July 19, 2000: SS Michael Young, RP Darwin Cubillan acquired from the Blue Jays for SP Esteban Loaiza.

    December 21, 2007: OF Josh Hamilton acquired from the Reds for SP Edinson Volquez, RP Danny Herrera.

Toronto Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar Acquired from Padres (December 5, 1990)

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    Blue Jays Received: 2B Roberto Alomar, RF Joe Carter

    Despite a terrific pitching staff, the Blue Jays went just 86-76 in 1990, and that was reason enough to overhaul their lineup. This trade was a big reason for the turnaround, as Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter were perhaps their top two hitters.

    Alomar made the All-Star team and won the Gold Glove in each of his five seasons with the team, while Carter hit 203 home runs in seven seasons and added one of the most memorable of all time in the 1993 World Series.

     

    Padres Received: 1B Fred McGriff, SS Tony Fernandez

    With top prospect John Olerud ready to contribute, the Blue Jays were free to move one of the league's top sluggers in Fred McGriff. He went on to post back-to-back 30-HR, 100-RBI seasons in San Diego before being moved to the Braves, while Tony Fernandez spent two-plus seasons as the Padres everyday shortstop.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    December 9, 1982: 1B Fred McGriff, SP Mike Morgan, OF Dave Collins acquired from the Yankees for RP Dale Murray, 3B Tom Dodd.

    July 6, 1986: RP Duane Ward acquired from the Braves for SP Doyle Alexander.

    September 22, 1987: SP Juan Guzman acquired from the Dodgers for IF Mike Sharperson.

    August 27, 1992: SP David Cone acquired from the Mets for 2B Jeff Kent, OF Ryan Thompson.

    August 21, 2008: RF Jose Bautista acquired from the Pirates for C Robinzon Diaz.

    July 31, 2009: 1B Edwin Encarnacion, RP Josh Roenicke, SP Zach Stewart acquired from the Reds for 3B Scott Rolen.

Washington Nationals: Pedro Martinez Acquired from Dodgers (November 19, 1993)

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    Details

    Expos Received: SP Pedro Martinez

    Just 22 at the time of the trade, Pedro Martinez was arguably the best middle reliever in baseball in 1993 when he went 10-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 119 K's in 107 innings.

    The Expos plugged him into the rotation during the 1994 season, and he steadily improved each season. It culminated in 1997, his final season with the team, when he went 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts to win NL Cy Young honors before being traded to the Red Sox.

     

    Dodgers Received: 2B Delino DeShields

    With Jody Reed gone to Milwaukee in free agency, the Dodgers had a hole at second base, and they dealt for Delino DeShields to fill that gap. Still just 24, he hit .277/.367/.373 with 187 steals in the first four seasons of his career. However, he hit just .241/.326/.327 in three seasons with the Dodgers before departing in free agency.

     

    Honorable Mentions

    January 22, 1969 (Expos): RF Rusty Staub acquired from Astros for OF Jesus Alou, SP Jack Billingham, RP Skip Guinn, $100,000.

    June 16, 1986 (Expos): SP Dennis Martinez, C John Stefero acquired from the Orioles for IF Rene Gonzales.

    August 16, 1990 (Expos): LF Moises Alou, 3B Willie Greene, RP Scott Ruskin acquired from the Pirates for SP Zane Smith.

    December 4, 2007: RP Tyler Clippard acquired from the Yankees for RP Jonathan Albaladejo.