The MLB trade deadline has come and gone, but that does not mean the fun is over, as teams still have until the end of August to acquire players who clear waivers.
While most of the marquee trades take place before July 31st, that does not mean there have not been some significant trades in August.
Here is a look at the 25 best post-deadline deals since the 1990 season, from a key player who makes the difference in a postseason push to an acquired prospect who makes a team regret dealing him down the road.
Braves trade Dale Murphy and Tommy Greene to the Phillies for Jeff Parrett, Jim Vatcher and Victor Rosario.
This move signaled a changing of the guard for the Braves, as Murphy has been the face of the franchise since the late 1970s. He gave the Phillies a decent couple of seasons before tailing off significantly in 1992 and retiring after the 1993 season.
The Phillies also got what turned out to be the second-best player in the deal in Greene, who would go 13-7 the following season as a full-time rotation member. He was even better in 1993, going 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA to finish sixth in NL Cy Young voting and help the Phillies to the World Series.
His career was a short one, however, and he was out of baseball by the age of 30.
Parrett appeared in 38 games over two seasons with the Braves, posting a 4.47 ERA, while Vatcher and Rosario were insignificant additions at best.
In the end, the trade was a way for the Braves to unload Murphy and the $7.5 million that he was owed over the next three seasons, and in the process, they gave up a solid starter in Greene.
However, with the abundance of good pitching the Braves had, it may well have been worth it.
Expos trade Zane Smith to the Pirates for Moises Alou, Scott Ruskin and Willie Greene.
In a tight race for the NL East crown and in desperate need of another starting pitcher to flank ace Doug Drabek, the Pirates dealt one of their top prospects in Alou to acquire Smith.
The Pirates got what they wanted, as Smith was brilliant down the stretch (10 starts, 6-2, 1.30 ERA), helping propel the Pirates into the playoffs. While they bowed out to the Reds in the NLCS, the Pirates season was still a successful one.
Smith earned himself a four-year contract in the offseason with the Pirates, and he responded with a 16-10 campaign the following season and overall went 47-41 in parts of six seasons in Pittsburgh.
Alou was a full-time starter for the Expos by 1992 after being the "player to be named later" of the deal, and he would enjoy a terrific 17-year career that saw him make six All-Star teams and hit .303 BA, 332 HR, 1,287 RBI playing for seven different teams.
Greene and Ruskin were actually packaged together in another trade following the 1991 season, as the Expos shipped them to the Reds for closer Todd Wetteland.
Greene went on to be the Reds' starting third baseman, peaking in 1997 with a .253 BA, 26 HR, 91 RBI season that was by far the best of his nine-year career.
Red Sox Trade Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for Larry Andersen.
The trading of a top-flight prospect in an attempt to shore up a shaky bullpen is nothing new come trade deadline time, but this one goes down as the biggest blunder of all time as far as those deals go.
Andersen posted a 1.23 ERA in 15 late-season appearances for the Red Sox, as he did help the team make a playoff appearance. However, he was not quite as good in October with a 6.00 ERA in three appearances. He would leave in free agency after the season.
Bagwell was the Astros' starting first baseman by the following season, winning the Rookie of the Year award, and never looking back on his way to a career line of .297 BA, 449 HR, 1,529 RBI over 15 seasons, all with the Astros.
Brewers Trade Candy Maldonado to the Blue Jays for Rob Wishnevski and William Suero.
With so many great deals made by the Blue Jays in the process of building their back-to-back World Series champion teams, the acquisition of Maldonado often goes overlooked, but he helped shore up what was a huge hole in left field.
He hit .277 BA, 7 HR, 28 RBI in 52 games for the Blue Jays down the stretch, helping them win the AL East, although they were eventually knock off by the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in the ALCS.
His biggest contribution came the next season, however, as Maldonado had a year left on his contract, and he served as the full-time left fielder during the 1992 season, hitting .272 BA, 20 HR, 66 RBI for the eventual World Series winners.
The following season he left for the Cubs in free agency, and left field was once again a hole for the Jays, although they still managed to repeat as world champs.
Wishnevski never saw the major leagues, while Suero appeared in 33 games over two seasons with the Brewers, hitting .233 as a utility infielder, making this deal an all-around win for the Blue Jays.
Mets Trade Alejandro Pena to the Braves for Tony Castillo and Joe Roa.
With the playoffs looming the Braves were still in search of a reliever to join Kent Mercker and Mike Stanton in a setup role as the deadline passed. However, they found an option through waivers in Mets right-hander Alejandro Pena.
He was terrific down the stretch, appearing in 15 games and going 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA over 19.1 innings of work, as the Braves won 94 games and captured the NL West crown.
He would go on to give up just two runs in 9.2 postseason innings. However, one of those two runs happened to come in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, a game that would be best known for Jack Morris' complete-game shutout.
Nonetheless, Pena was a big addition for the Braves in August.
Castillo would go on to be a reliable reliever for a number of teams, appearing in 403 games over 10 seasons, while Roa made 120 appearances over six seasons, pitching most recently in 2004.
Mets Trade David Cone to the Blue Jays for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.
The definition of a rental player, Cone spent under three months with the Blue Jays and was on to his next stop in Kansas City as a free agent the following season, but he more than made his mark on the Blue Jays, as he went 4-3 with a 2.55 ERA in seven starts down the stretch.
On a pitching staff that already featured Jack Morris, Jimmy Key, Juan Guzman and Todd Stottlemyre, Cone made what was already the best rotation in baseball even better, as he logged 22.1 innings over four postseason starts, doing his part to help bring a championship to the Jays.
On the other side of things, Kent emerged as a legitimate starter the following season, hitting .270 BA, 21 HR, 80 RBI for the Mets in his first full season in the majors, as he would have been blocked at second base by Roberto Alomar in Toronto anyway.
A's Trade Jose Canseco to the Rangers for Ruben Sierra, Bobby Witt, Jeff Russell and cash.
While this deal did not quite work out to the point either team would have liked, it cracks the list because of the sheer magnitude of players that changed hands in this deal.
In the midst of a pennant race, the A's dealt one of their superstars in Canseco for three players who could immediately contribute at a high level. Witt gave them a starter, Russell a reliable setup man and Sierra a power bat to make up for the loss of Canseco.
The Rangers got one of the game's premier sluggers and a chance to build toward next season.
The A's did make the playoffs, thanks in part to the trade, but were knocked out by the Blue Jays; Canseco rounded back into form with a big season in 1994, but the Rangers were never able to become legitimate contenders.
Still, a gutsy trade by both sides and worthy of a spot on this list despite it not necessarily being a home run for either side.
Indians Trade Jeromy Burnitz to the Brewers for Kevin Seitzer.
With a glaring hole at third base and an overabundance of outfielders, the Indians dealt the promising Burnitz to the Brewers for veteran Kevin Seitzer.
The move paid immediate dividends for the Indians, as Seitzer got hot for the stretch run, hitting .386 with 16 RBI in just 22 games. He then drove in four runs in four postseason games before the Indians were eventually eliminated.
Burnitz, however, turned out to be quite a find for the Brewers, as he posted a .287 BA, 27 HR, 85 RBI season in his first full season in Milwaukee and only got better from there, hitting 165 long balls in six seasons with the team and 315 total during his 14-year career.
Cubs Trade Brian McRae, Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell to the Mets for Lance Johnson, Mark Clark and Manny Alexander.
With the Cubs floundering through another poor season in 1997, the team was in full fire sale mode when the summer months rolled around, and while they were relatively quiet before the deadline, they managed to make four deals after July 31st, and in the end they had unloaded $16.7 million worth of players.
The biggest deal came with the Mets, as they unloaded struggling closer Mel Rojas and aging leadoff hitter Brian McRae on the Mets, taking on the contracts of Lance Johnson and Mark Clark in return.
The Mets got nothing out of either player, while the Cubs not only saved a couple million dollars in the deal but also came away with a better leadoff hitter and a solid starter.
Both Johnson and Clark would play big roles in the 1998 season, as the Cubs improved their record from 68-94 to 90-73 and made the playoffs. This deal was just one of many that helped in the turnaround, but it was an important first step.
Rockies Trade Eric Young to the Dodgers for Pedro Astacio.
In a rare waiver-wire swap including a pair of veterans and no prospects, the Dodgers and Rockies hashed out a deal that helped one team in the short term, while the other team was looking ahead to next season.
With the Dodgers in the hunt for the NL West crown and needing a leadoff hitter, they made a move for Rockies second baseman Eric Young, who hit .273 and stole 13 bases down the stretch for the Dodgers.
That was not enough, however, as the team missed the playoffs. Young would be the team's everyday second baseman for two more seasons, however, before being dealt to the Cubs.
In exchange for Young, the Rockies got a much-needed innings eater in Astacio, who had struggled to a 7-9 mark with a 4.10 ERA with the Dodgers to that point in the season.
He went 5-1 after the trade and would go on to win 42 games over the next three seasons as the Rockies ace, including a 17-win season in 1999.
So while this deal may not have earned anyone a playoff berth, it did help both teams in the long run and was the rare waiver deal that includes a one-for-one exchange of veterans.
Cubs Sign Gary Gaetti as a free agent.
While the rest of the deals on this list are waiver trades, the Cubs crack the list with a terrific free-agent signing of a player who was released in August.
With a .265 BA, 11 HR, 43 RBI line, the Cardinals chose to release 39-year-old third baseman Gary Gaetti to get prospect Fernando Tatis more at-bats. Gaetti was released on Aug. 14th, and five days later, on his birthday, he signed with the Cubs.
The Cubs were in the hunt for a rare playoff spot and had endured a disastrous season from starting shortstop Jeff Blauser.
Signing Gaetti allowed the team to move the versatile Jose Hernandez to shortstop, as the offense was upgraded in two places.
While the team expected the veteran Gaetti to contribute, no one expected the .320 BA, 8 HR, 27 RBI line he put up in only 37 games with the team. The Cubs made the playoffs as the Wild Card, and Gaetti was a big reason why.
Orioles Trade Harold Baines to the Indians for Juan Aracena and Jimmy Hamilton.
Baines was putting the finishing touches on a fantastic career when he came out of nowhere with a huge season in 1999 at the age of 40, making the All-Star team for the first time in seven years.
Through 107 games, Baines had hit .322 BA, 24 HR, 81 RBI, and as a free agent to be, he was a hot commodity at the trade deadline.
He eventually landed with the playoff-bound Indians in a waiver deal, and he contributed down the stretch with a .271 BA, 1 HR, 22 RBI line in 28 games.
That was followed by even better numbers in the playoffs, as he hit .357 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI in four games before the Indians were bounced by the Red Sox.
Nonetheless, an impressive contribution and season from a 40-year-old.
Pirates Trade Luis Sojo to the Yankees for Chris Spurling.
Sojo was picked up off waivers by the Yankees for the second time in his career in 2000, as he was also a last-minute addition to the 1996 World Series team.
However, he played a much bigger role in the 2000 World Series title, starting with a good finish to the regular season, as he helped take some of the second base burden off a struggling Chuck Knoblauch with a .288 BA, 2 HR, 17 RBI line in 34 games.
His biggest contribution, however, came in Game 5 of the World Series, as he came to the plate as a pinch hitter with two on and two out and the score tied 2-2.
Facing Mets ace Al Leiter in what would be the decisive game for the Yankees, Sojo laced a two-run single to give the Yankees the lead and eventually the win, as their August acquisition came through with the World Series-clinching hit.
Angels Claim David Eckstein from the Red Sox and Ben Weber from the Giants.
At the end of the 2000 season, with the Angels out of contention, the team made a pair of under the radar moves that would pay off immensely by the 2002 season, when the team won the World Series.
First, they acquired the scrappy Eckstein, and by the following season, he was the team's starting shortstop, hitting .285 BA, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 29 SB as the team's leadoff hitter and finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.
He would be even better the following season, hitting .293 BA, 8 HR, 63 RBI, 21 SB, finishing 11th in MVP voting and serving as a catalyst for the eventual champs.
Then they acquired Weber, who would serve as the team's top setup man, pitching in 181 games from 2001-2003 and posting a 2.86 ERA with seven saves.
Padres Trade Woody Williams to the Cardinals for Ray Lankford and cash.
It is never easy to part with a player that has spent his entire career with a franchise, but the Cardinals picked the perfect time to pull the trigger on dealing Lankford, who, at 34, was not the player he once was but still had some value.
In return for Lankford, the Cards got starter Woody Williams, who was absolutely phenomenal down the stretch with a 7-1 record and 2.28 ERA in 11 starts after the trade.
He then went seven innings and gave up only one run in his lone postseason start, but the Cardinals were bounced from the playoffs by the Diamondbacks in the first round.
The deal continued to pay off for the Cardinals after the 2001 season, as Williams stuck around for three more seasons, going 45-22 overall in his four seasons with the team, including an 18-9 season in 2003.
Giants Claim Scott Eyre from the Blue Jays.
With the Giants in the hunt for a wild-card spot, the team was surprisingly quiet at the trade deadline. However, they more than made up for that when they acquired left-handed reliever Scott Eyre from the Blue Jays in August.
While Eyre had proven to be a durable reliever, he had a career ERA over 5.00 in six seasons and did not look to be the impact move the Giants needed to push them over the top.
That would all quickly change when he got to San Francisco, however, as he posted a 1.59 ERA over 21 appearances, and he followed that up with seven scoreless appearances in the playoffs, as the Giants reached the World Series, falling to the Angels.
Eyre would become the Giants' most reliable reliever in the seasons to come, posting a 3.29 ERA in a ridiculous 243 appearances over the next three seasons.
Brewers Trade Mark Loretta to the Astros for Keith Ginter and Wayne Franklin.
With the Astros right in the thick of things in the NL Central heading into September, the team decided to add some infield depth on the final possible day, making a move to acquire Brewers second baseman Mark Loretta.
With Craig Biggio in the lineup, Loretta got the bulk of his playing time down the stretch at third base, and he made the most of his at-bats, hitting .424 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI in 21 games.
The Astros fell short of the playoffs, and Loretta was gone the next season, but you can't ask much more from a waiver-wire pickup than what Loretta gave the Astros in 2002.
Reds Trade Kent Mercker to the Braves for Matt Belisle.
Like any playoff contender, the Braves were in search of bullpen depth at the 2003 trade deadline, in particular a left-handed reliever, as the team's only southpaw option was often-used Ray King.
While the issue was not addressed at the deadline, they did find a suitable candidate in August in the familiar face that was Kent Mercker, who started his career with the Braves, pitching seven seasons with the team in the early 1990s.
On the season, Mercker had a 2.35 ERA in 38.1 innings of work, so he did not come cheap, as the Braves had to give up a well-regarded prospect in Belisle.
In the end it worked out well for both teams, as Mercker had a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings of work down the stretch to help the Braves reach the playoffs, while Belisle became a solid reliever for the Reds and is now pitching well with the Rockies.
Pirates Trade Brian Giles to the Padres for Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Corey Stewart.
As was the case with most above-average players on the Pirates during the 2000s, the time came for Giles to be shipped off to find success elsewhere after four fantastic seasons in Pittsburgh in which he averaged .309 BA, 37 HR, 109 RBI.
The Padres stepped in to acquire the slugger, as they looked ahead to next season and the possibility of a lineup that featured Ryan Klesko, Phil Nevin and now Giles at its heart, although things didn't quite work out.
However, for once, the Pirates managed to make the most of the trade and fetched a pretty impressive return, at least right off the bat.
Perez showed the makings of a future ace, winning 12 games and piling up 239 Ks in 196 innings for a league best 11.0 K/9 in 2004, before falling off badly.
Bay took home Rookie of the Year honors the following season and immediately became the Pirates' most dangerous hitter, filling the hole left by Giles in the lineup and adding some speed to boot.
He was eventually dealt to the Red Sox in a much less impressive deal.
Orioles Trade Jeff Conine to the Marlins for Denny Bautista and Don Levinski.
With the Marlins right in the middle of the playoff picture, who better to acquire than Mr. Marlin himself, Jeff Conine, as the team picked up a franchise favorite on the last possible day.
A two-time All-Star in five seasons with the Marlins from 1993-1997, Conine had already carved his place in Marlins history when he rejoined the team at the age of 37 for the stretch run in 2003.
He was nothing special during the regular season, hitting .238 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI in 84 at-bats as the team's left fielder.
The playoffs, however, were a different story, as Conine turned in a phenomenal NLCS in which he hit .458 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI and helped the Marlins come back against the Cubs and reach the World Series, where he would pick up his second World Series ring when the Marlins bested the Yankees.
Rockies Trade Larry Walker to the Cardinals for Chris Narveson, Chris Burch and Luis Martinez.
With a stacked lineup that already featured a trio of .300 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI guys in Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen, along with the always dangerous Reggie Sanders and Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals made a move to push them over the top in acquiring Walker from the Rockies.
While injuries limited him to just 38 games with the Rockies before the trade, Walker seemed to just be hitting his stride as the Cardinals picked him up, hitting 11 home runs and driving in 27 runs in just 44 regular season games.
He followed that up with another six home runs in the postseason, as the Cardinals won the NL pennant before falling to the Red Sox in the World Series.
Walker retired one season later, but for that October, he was once again the player that made him one of the most feared sluggers in all of baseball in the 1990s, and he goes down as arguably the best waiver-wire pickup of all time.
Pirates Trade Jose Bautista to the Blue Jays for Robinzon Diaz.
Bautista broke into the league with the Pirates in 2004, and after a solid .254 BA, 15 HR, 63 RBI season in 2007 in his first year getting full-time at-bats, he earned a big raise from $397,500 to $1.8 million heading into the 2008 season.
With similar numbers through 107 games played in 2008, the Pirates decided to move the versatile infielder/outfielder to free up a little salary room, and the Blue Jays scooped him up on waivers for a mid-level prospect.
His first season was uneventful, as he hit .235 BA, 13 HR, 40 RBI as the team's super utility player. However, his 2010 season would be a breakout for the ages, as he hit .260 BA, 54 HR, 124 RBI and became one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball.
The 2011 season has been more of the same, as he leads the AL with 32 home runs, 86 walks, a .459 on-base percentage and a .658 slugging percentage.
Blue Jays Trade Matt Stairs to the Phillies for Fabio Castro.
While most of the players on this list were picked up to take over a spot in the starting lineup or a key role in the bullpen, Stairs was a different story, as the Phillies acquired him for his pinch-hitting prowess and little else.
He made 12 pinch-hit at-bats during the regular season, going an impressive 4-for-12 and hitting two home runs with three RBI. That was enough for him to make the postseason roster, and he delivered one of the most memorable moments in Phillies history.
In Game 4 of the NLCS, the Phillies entered the top of the eighth trailing 5-3. Shane Victorino tied things up with a two-run home run, and after a Carlos Ruiz single, the Dodgers called on closer Jonathan Broxton to get the final out of the eighth.
He was greeted by Stairs, who absolutely destroyed a 3-1 offering to deep right field to give the Phillies the lead and eventually the victory, as they would win the series the following game.
Indians Trade Carl Pavano to the Twins for Yohan Pino.
Carl Pavano's entire career has been a roller coaster ride, starting with his inclusion as one of the key pieces heading to Montreal in the trade that brought Pedro Martinez to Boston.
From there, he had five forgettable seasons with the Expos before being moved to the Marlins in 2002 as part of another big trade that sent Cliff Floyd out of Florida.
He went on to win 12 games for the World Series champion Marlins in 2003, and that was followed by a terrific 18-8 season the following year, just as he was hitting free agency.
That earned him a four-year, $38 million deal from the New York Yankees, but he would make just 26 starts in four seasons in the Bronx, as injuries made his time there more or less a wash.
After that big contract was up, he inked a significantly smaller one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Indians. That small contract made him an appealing option at the 2009 deadline, and he was eventually sent to the Twins in a waiver deal.
While his 5-4 record and 4.64 ERA in 12 starts with the Twins did help the team to the playoffs, it was nothing special, and many were surprised when the Twins re-signed Pavano for the 2010 season, but he came through big with a 17-win, 3.75 ERA season, as his career was once again peaking.
Giants Claim Cody Ross from the Marlins.
Much like this season, the 2010 Giants were a roster built around a terrific starting rotation and a solid bullpen. However, even with the emergence of Rookie of the Year Buster Posey, the team was in desperate need of an offensive boost at the trade deadline and beyond.
After signing Pat Burrell earlier in the season, the team was looking for another outfielder who could provide some pop, and they found one in the Marlins' Cody Ross.
Ross was coming off a 2009 season in which he hit .270 BA, 24 HR, 90 RBI, but his power numbers were down, and he had lost playing time to rookie phenom Mike Stanton.
He was solid down the stretch for the Giants, hitting .288 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI in 33 games, but his real notable contribution came in the playoffs, as he hit .294 BA, 5 HR, 10 RBI in 51 playoff at-bats.
He was particularly good in the NLCS, hitting .350 BA, 3 HR, 5 RBI to take home MVP honors.