From the off-season acquisition of Paul O'Neil in 1992, to the blockbuster trade that brought Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers to the Bronx, George Steinbrenner has made a handful of pivotal trades during his time as New York Yankees owner.
Some of his deals were done during the offseason, while others (David Cone in 1995) were done prior to the trade deadline.
I've been fortunate to be a Yankee fan my entire life, but until George Steinbrenner passed away, I never realized how lucky I was to have "The Boss" as an owner.
While his bank account certainly helped turn the Yankees into an empire that was anything, but evil, his desire and will to win as an owner was unprecedented in the game of baseball.
He always got the player he coveted, and always delivered the knockout punch.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the time has come to honor Steinbrenner one more time, as I present "MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Deadline Deals “The Boss” Would Have Made Around the League."
Pretending that all teams in 2010 had their own “Boss,” these are 10 trades Steinbrenner would have demanded be done around the league before the trade deadline passed.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
As we say goodbye for the final time to the man who changed baseball forever - "The Boss."
Trade: New York Yankees trade C Jesus Montero, LHP Manny Banuelos, 2B David Adams to the Seattle Mariners for P Cliff Lee
This was almost a "done-deal", and if "The Boss" was around, it would've happened.
The Yankees were minutes away from acquiring Lee, and putting a stranglehold on the AL East division.
The Yankees were minutes away from basically all, but securing their 28th World Series championship in franchise history.
But as we all know, the deal didn't happen.
In honor of the late George M. Steinbrenner, let's imagine it did...
Unable to resign Lee beyond the 2010 season, the Mariners did not want to let the biggest fish of the 2010 free agency class walk for nothing.
In came the New York Yankees.
Considering the Yankees future behind the plate lay in the hands of their second best prospect for 2010, Austin Romine, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, and Steinbrenner, were willing to part ways with Venezuelan catcher Jesus Montero, in order to acquire the 2008 Cy Young award winner.
Prior to this blockbuster move made by the Yankees, due to Adams‘ injured ankle, the Mariners were not only hesitant to finalize the deal, but were also reluctant to take on the Double-A prospect who was not one-hundred percent healthy at the time.
Therefore, as Yankee fans have grown accustomed to seeing, Steinbrenner, who never takes no for an answer, had no other choice but to throw in the Yankees sixth best prospect, Manny Banuelos.
Banuelos, whom the Yankees have high expectations on, and Montero, who is batting a mediocre .252 in Triple-A, to go along with a .415 SLG, a .743 OPS, and seven home runs in 282 at-bats head to the West Coast, as their MLB careers are first beginning.
While Lee, who will be 32 years old in August, is reaching the end of his career and is looking for his first World Series championship, and there is certainly no better place to come to than New York.
Lee, who went 8–3 with a 2.34 ERA, an 0.945 WHIP, and a 89/6 K/BB ratio with the Mariners will now join CC Sabathia, and form the most dominating 1-2 punch in the majors.
During the offseason, the Yankees are most likely going to sign Lee to a mega-contract anyway, so they just got a head start on their negotations.
With Lee in pinstripes, "The Boss" would've been smiling down from the heavens above.
He would've been one very proud owner.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies trade RF Jayson Werth to the New York Yankees for P Javier Vazquez.
When the Yankees acquired Cliff Lee, Vazquez became dispendable.
When the Yankees acquired Lee, Werth became a Yankee.
This move made sense to me, and it certainly made sense to "The Boss."
There's nothing wrong with imagining what could of been.
I do it all the time.
Trade: New York Mets trade RHP Jenrry Mejia, LHP Jon Niese, C Josh Thole to the Houston Astros for P Roy Oswalt
How different would the Mets organization have been if "The Boss" ran the show?
And who knows, maybe they even would've won another World Series championship since 1986?
I doubt it, but for all the Mets fans out there, let's imagine he was...
Overachieving during the first half of the season, not only did the Mets offense excel ranking in the top 12 in the National League in runs scored, batting average, hits, and slugging percentage, the Mets pitching staff was quite impressive as well.
Recording a team ERA of 3.75, and compiling an opponent's batting average of .263, the Mets pitching staff certainly surprised many people, including myself, with their first half performance.
Mike Pelfrey led the teams in wins (10), and coming as no surprise, Johan Santana led the team in ERA (2.98), strikeouts (83) and WHIP (1.20).
However, heading into the second half of the season, if the Mets are planning to rely on R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi, if they want to continue to make a playoff push, it's going to be another disappointing September in Flushing, Queens this Fall.
But if Santana continues his stellar second half domination as his track record has shown, the Mets might be playing baseball in October.
Overall in his career, Santana is 61-19 with a 2.73 ERA in 130 second-half games (105 starts), and now, with the acquistion of Roy Oswalt from the Astros, Santana will finally have help in the starting rotation.
Despite giving up Thole, who is batting .500 with a OPS of 1.115 in 11 games played since being called up in June, the Mets are going for it all.
The Mets were willing take on some of the remaining $7-8 million of Oswalt's 2010 salary, $16 million of his 2011 salary, and at least the $2 million buyout of his 2012 option year.
As the Mets currently sit in second place in the NL East division, and trail only the Wild Card leading Colorado Rockies by 1.5 games, although Oswalt did not come cheap, he still can perform at the elite pitching level that we've seen over his entire 10-year career.
Even though Mets fans have experienced nothing but heartbreak, and disappointment over the past two seasons, this season might end a little bit differently.
Leaving Mets fans with no other choice, but to only dream, and hope for the best.
Trade: Milwaukee Brewers trade 1B Prince Fielder to the Chicago White Sox for 2B Gordon Beckham and P Daniel Hudson
General Manager Ken Williams took a chapter out of George Steinbrenner's book when he acquired Prince Fielder from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for the White Sox' top pitching prospect, Daniel Hudson, and Sporting News' 2009 American League rookie of the year, Gordon Beckham.
Fielder, who became the youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season will be finishing the 2010 season playing for a contender.
The Milwaukee Brewers had a decision to make, since they were going to lose control of Fielder's contract at the end of the 2011 season.
Unable to sign the slugger to a long-term deal, the Brewers shipped the 2009 Home Run Derby champion to the South Side of Chicago to join a lineup already consisting of Alex Rios and Paul Konerko.
Although the White Sox are trying to overcome the loss of Jake Peavy, who is out for the season following shoulder surgery, reports were their top pitching prospect, Hudson, was going to fill the void. But the Sox couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire Fielder.
The White Sox are adding an offensive threat to an offense that already ranks near top in the American League in home runs (4th), but rank only eighth batting average, hits, OBP and OPS.
A change of scenery is going to do wonders for Fielder. Fortunately for the White Sox, it's going to be done in the city of Chi-town in a White Sox uniform.
Trade: Florida Marlins trade 2B Dan Uggla to the Colorado Rockies for 2B Clint Barmes and a prospect to-be named later
Since losing Troy Tulowitzki to a broken wrist in mid-June, Dan Uggla has been the focus of the Colorado Rockies.
Fortunately for the Rockies, the Marlins were willing to part ways with their second baseman, and the Rockies finally got their man.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, these two clubs have been discussing this deal since this past January, and finally, the Marlins and the Rockies have come to an agreement.
Although the Rockies liked Uggla's teammate Jorge Cantu, and Baltimore's Ty Wigginton, the Rockies settled on the two-time All-Star.
A move that will pay major dividends down the stretch.
Trade: Washington Nationals trade 1B/OF Adam Dunn to the Tampa Bay Rays for 1B Willie Aybar, P Wade Davis, and P Jacob McGee
Unwilling to resign soon-to-be free agent Carl Crawford, the Tampa Bay Rays are nearing the end of an era with the loss of Crawford.
This season, the Rays have the talent to win their first World Series championship, and now with the addition of Adam Dunn, he provides the Rays the opportunity to be used as a DH, and to platoon with Carlos Pena at first-base.
Despite rumors the Nationals were not looking to trade the 30-year old slugger, and since the two sides were unable to agree on contract extension, Dunn will now be finishing the season in Tampa.
Not only is the Rays' biggest fan Dick Vitale ecstatic about the move, the Rays organization must be as well because at the end of this season, they just might be calling themselves World Series champions.
And they'll have Dunn to thank for that.
Trade: Houston Astros trade 1B Lance Berkman to the Anaheim Angels for 3B Brandon Wood, RHP Garret Richards, 1B Mike Napoli, and a propsect to-be named later
It's no secret "The Boss" loved the bright lights of New York, but something tells me, he would've also loved the spotlight of Hollywood.
No matter where Steinbrenner was, and what team he ruled, he would've acquired the player that was needed to turn his team into a World Series contender.
Even if he was in Los Angeles.
Despite being 34-years old, and reaching the end of a stellar career, Angels general manager Tony Regins, and owner Arturo Moreno have decided to add a player that will provide some power to a team that is in desperate need of offensive help.
Berkman, who had a full no-trade clause, has agreed to head the West Coast to play for the three-time defending AL West champions, Anaheim Angels.
The Angels have assured Berkman he will be playing the 2011-2012 season in Anaheim after picking up his $15 million option for next season.
Brendan Wood, who began 2007 as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America, has struggled through the first half of the 2010 season hitting only .171, to go along with a .189 OBP, and only has three home runs and 12 RBI in 170 at-bats.
The Astros are looking towards the future, and with the addition of Garret Richards, and a future first round pick, the Astros are going to have the building blocks to be a contender somewhere down the line.
But for now, the Astros have conceded the 2010 season, and if it means winning a World Series championship in the year 2016, trading Berkman is definitely the right move.
The Angels certainly agree.
Trade: Arizona Diamondbacks trade P Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SS Dee Gordon, P Chris Withrow, P Ethan Martin, P Aaron Miller
George Steinbrenner wanted nothing to do with the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2001 World Series. Can you blame him?
Now, let's imagine, he owned them...
Rumored to be interested in adding a starter to their young and talented rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers have added strikeout specialist Dan Haren to a rotation that already includes Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.
The Dodgers were interested in pitcher Cliff Lee before he was traded, and despite not wanting to part with James Loney or Billingsley, the Dodgers still added a much needed piece in order to continue to compete in the NL West division.
Not wanting to trade Jamey Carroll, who can play multiple positions around the infield, the Dodgers sent Double-A prospects Dee Gordon (.279, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 33 stolen bases) and pitchers Chris Withrow (3-4, 4.85 ERA), Ethan Martin (9-7, 4.71 ERA @ Class A Inland) & Aaron Miller (0-2, 2.40 ERA) to Arizona in-exchange for Haren.
Haren, just 29 years old and despite being owed $41 million over the next three seasons, is heading to Hollywood for a legitimate chance at a World Series championship.
Now, the Dodgers who have been competing in a NL West horse race that has been going on since the beginning of the season, will surely continue to be a contender until the end.
Haren will most likely keep them in the race even deep into October, as he will finally get the oppurtunity to prove he's actually worth all of this money.
Trade: Milwaukee Brewers trade RF Corey Hart to the San Francisco Giants for P Jonathan Sanchez
When general manager Doug Melvin inquired about trading Corey Hart to the San Francisco Giants, Melvin requested starting pitchers Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner and a few prospects to be included in the deal for Hart, but Sabean thought that asking price was too high.
However, after weeks of discussions, the Brewers finally lowered their asking price for Hart, and the Giants did not squander this opportunity.
Heading into Sunday, the Giants new right fielder was hitting .296 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs, while leading the Majors with 19 homers and 57 RBIs since May 15.
Hart was going to be another Brewer's player who was to expensive for the small-market team to retain, so despite his tremendous season, Hart is on the move to the Bay area.
The Giants have the pitching staff to be a contender, and now with the addition of Hart, they might have found the missing piece between a disappointing season and winning a World Series championship.
Let's imagine we're going to find out in the next few months. It's going to make for an exciting end to the 2010 season.
Trade: Kansas City Royals trade P Joakim Soria to the New York Yankees for two propsects to-be named later, P Mark Melancon and P David Robertson.
Remember, when "Big Stein" is unhappy, players get traded, and new responsibilities are handed out.
Needing to be overwhelmed to part with 26-year old Joakim Soria, who is making $4 million this season, $6 million next season and has club options in 2012, 2013, and 2014, the Royals got the asking price they were looking for.
Soria already has 25 saves and has posted an 11.1 K/9 this, which makes him one of the more appealing relievers available.
The Yankees have had inconsistent performances from Joba Chamberlain, Chan Ho Park and David Robertson. Therefore, "The Boss" needed to acquire a trustworthy and dependable reliever as the Yankees head into the most important months of the season.
Soria, who has 43 strikeouts in 35 appearances this season, will hopefully resemble the shut-down eighth inning reliever Mariano Rivera was during John Wetteland's 43 save season in 1996.
Although Steinbrenner isn't around to make this acquisition, Yankee fans can only hope and imagine that Cashman does whatever is needed to acquire Soria.
The Yankees bullpen certainly can use his help.