With Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on July 31, I decided to take a look at the Diamondbacks’ best and worst deadline moves (or non-moves) over the previous 10 years of their existence. While Arizona is usually a non-player, here are the top deals (or non-deals) I found.
- Date: July 26, 2000
Deal: Traded P Omar Daal, P Nelson Figueroa, IF Travis Lee and P Vicente Padilla to the Philadelphia Phillies for P Curt Schilling.
Result: Winner. This is clearly the best deadline deal in franchise history. Schilling led the D-Backs to a World Series win in 2001 and garnered co-MVP honors in that memorable, post 9/11 Series against the New York Yankees (along with Randy Johnson).
- Date: July 31, 2004
Non-deal: The Diamondbacks didn’t pull the trigger on a Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees deal. Would they have gotten more from the desperate Yankees than they did the following season when they acquired P Javier Vazquez, P Brad Halsey, C Dioner Navarro and cash?
- Date: July 8, 1999
Deal: Traded a player to be named later, P Vladimir Nunez and P Brad Penny to the Florida Marlins for closer Matt Mantei. The Diamondbacks later sent OF Abraham Nunez to the Marlins to complete the trade.
Result: Mixed. On one hand, Mantei saved 22 games in the second half of the year and helped the D-Backs make the playoffs. On the other, Penny became a solid starter for years to come with Florida and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Date: July 30, 2003
Deal: Traded OF David Dellucci, P Bret Prinz and a minor leaguer to the New York Yankees for OF Raul Mondesi.
Result: Mixed. Mondesi hit a respectable .302 with 22 RBIs in 45 games for Arizona, but the team finished third in the NL West.
- Date: July 25, 2001
Deal: Traded LHP Nick Bierbrodt, OF Jason Conti and cash considerations to Tampa Bay for RHP Albie Lopez and C Mike DiFelice.
Result: Marginal winner. While neither acquisition was a major factor, Lopez did win the game that clinched a playoff spot for the D-Backs and both helped them get to the World Series.
- Date: July 31, 2004
Deal: Sent OF Steve Finley and C Brent Mayne to the Los Angeles Dodgers for C Koyie Hill, OF Reggie Abercrombie and P Bill Murphy.
Result: Loser. Arizona dealt one of its most popular players, then watched as Finley knocked in 46 runs in 58 games to help lead the Dodgers to the division title.
- Date: July 31, 1998 (Standings)
Deal: Traded P Willie Blair, C Jorge Fabregas and cash to the New York Mets for P Nelson Figueroa, OF Bernard Gilkey and cash.
Result: Yawn. Gilkey hit .294 in 1999 with eight homers and 39 RBI in a part-time role. Perhaps his most notable achievement came when then-managing general partner Jerry Colangelo gave him a deferred contract that included $500,000 a year for 25 years.