Every baseball fan knows and looks forward to July 31st and what that date means on the baseball calendar. Each summer the rumor mill is abuzz with talk of potential trades, of what each team needs in its quest to capture a World Series title, and what they will have to give up to get that talent. Most of the deals discussed---whether in the media, the local bar or the front office of a major league team---never take place. Very few deals are consummated each summer, and of those that are rarely do they work out as well as intended. For every deal that works out there are four or five Eric Gagne’s.
Ahead I will attempt to look at the best, most impact-full trades that have taken place over the last 20 seasons. The criteria is simple: the deals must have taken place in the summer---not the previous offseason and the players involved must have impacted the pennant race. Mark McGwire was dealt to St. Louis in 1997, but they were never truly in the race and finished under five hundred and in fourth place in their division.
I hope I can make this fun and entertaining, and I am absolutely certain that I am going to forget or leave off a player who made as big---or bigger---of an impact than those listed. I hope you like it.