Published July 31, 2012
Zack Greinke and Hanley Ramirez have already changed teams, and general managers still have a few more hours to make additional big trades. Some of the deals from the 2012 season may quickly be forgotten, but there's always the possibility of a blockbuster that can change the fortunes of a team for years. In honor of baseball's Tuesday trade deadline, here are some of the most famous (and infamous) in-season deals in baseball history — one for each of the 30 franchises.
July 2000: Acquired Curt Schilling from Phillies for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla.
Schilling was 33 at the time but had plenty left. He went 45-13 in 2001 and 2002, leading the Diamondbacks to a dramatic World Series title in '01 and finishing second in the Cy Young vote both years to teammate Randy Johnson.
July 1993: Acquired Fred McGriff from Padres for Donnie Elliott, Vince Moore and Melvin Nieves.
When the Braves traded for McGriff, the press box at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium literally caught fire the day he joined the team. The Braves followed suit, going 49-16 down the stretch to edge the Giants in the last great division race of the pre-wild card era.
June 1976: Acquired Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor and Dave Pagan from Yankees for Doyle Alexander, Jimmy Freeman, Elrod Hendricks, Ken Holtzman and Grant Jackson.
Dempsey, Martinez and McGregor were all key contributors to Baltimore's championship team of 1983, with Dempsey earning World Series MVP honors. McGregor won 20 games for the Orioles in 1980.
BOSTON RED SOX
August 1990: Traded Jeff Bagwell to Astros for Larry Andersen.
In one of baseball's all-time cautionary tales, Boston sent a future MVP to Houston for a 37-year-old reliever. With Andersen in the bullpen, the Red Sox did win a tight division race that year, but that was little consolation in the long run.
April 1966: Acquired Ferguson Jenkins, John Herrnstein and Adolfo Phillips from Phillies for Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson.
This was earlier in the season but still plenty important for the Cubs. Jenkins was used mostly as a reliever at this point in his career, but he was a regular starter by 1967, the first of his six straight 20-win seasons.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
July 1997: Traded Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez to Giants for Lorenzo Barcelo, Mike Caruso, Keith Foulke, Bob Howry, Brian Manning and Ken Vining.
Dubbed the "white flag" trade because the White Sox were only 3½ games out of first place at the time, this deal actually didn't work out that badly for Chicago. Foulke, Howry and Barcelo pitched well out of the bullpen in 2000, when the White Sox won the AL Central.
May 1971: Acquired George Foster from Giants for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert.
Foster became a crucial part of the Big Red Machine, helping the Reds win the World Series in 1975 and 1976 and winning the MVP in 1977. Of course, this wasn't Cincinnati's only big deal of 1971. After the season, they picked up Joe Morgan from Houston.
July 2011: Acquired Ubaldo Jimenez from Rockies for Joseph Gardner, Matt McBride, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.
The jury is still somewhat out on this one, but the Indians may live to regret it if Pomeranz and White develop into stars. Jimenez has been erratic since going to Cleveland.
August 2004: Traded Larry Walker to Cardinals for Jason Burch, Luis Martinez and Chris Narveson.
Walker's terrific run in Colorado came to an end when he joined the pennant-bound Cardinals. None of the players the Rockies received has played a game for them.
August 1987: Traded John Smoltz to Braves for Doyle Alexander.
Alexander went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA down the stretch for Detroit, helping the Tigers edge Toronto for the AL East title in a thrilling finish. But Smoltz, a Michigan native, became a star in Atlanta.
July 1998: Acquired Randy Johnson from Mariners for Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama.
The Astros gave up a lot to bring in Johnson, but he delivered, going 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA for Houston. The Astros won the NL Central in a runaway, but Johnson left via free agency after the season.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
July 2001: Traded Jermaine Dye to Rockies for Neifi Perez.
Dye ended up in Oakland after this three-way deal, and Perez played only one full season (2002) with the Royals. Dye had hit 33 homers in 2000, but Kansas City didn't get much value for him in the end.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
July 2010: Acquired Dan Haren from Diamondbacks for Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, Joe Saunders and Tyler Skaggs.
The Angels finished under .500 in 2010 even with Haren, but he went on to go 16-10 the following year and is still with the team. The trade for Greinke probably at least rivals this one.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
May 1998: Traded Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to Marlins for Manuel Barrios, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson and Gary Sheffield.
Sheffield was a terrific hitter for the Dodgers for a few seasons, but Piazza would reach the World Series with the Mets two years later.
May 1998: Traded Mike Piazza to Mets for Geoff Goetz, Preston Wilson and Ed Yarnall.
Part II of Piazza's whirlwind in 1998. A week after he joined the Marlins, Florida traded him to New York for a fairly undistinguished haul. The Marlins went on to finish with 108 losses a year after winning the World Series.
July 2008: Acquired CC Sabathia from Indians for Michael Brantley, Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson and Matt LaPorta.
The Brewers got everything they could have expected from Sabathia, who went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and seven complete games for Milwaukee. The Brewers eked out a wild card berth by one game — their first postseason appearance in 26 years.
July 1989: Traded Frank Viola to Mets for Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Jack Savage, Kevin Tapani and David West.
It couldn't have been easy giving up the reigning Cy Young Award winner, but the move paid off for the Twins eventually. In 1991, Tapani went 16-9, Aguilera had 42 saves and Minnesota won the World Series.
NEW YORK METS
June 1977: Traded Tom Seaver to Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry.
It was the end of an era in Queens when the Mets traded their future Hall of Famer amid a contract dispute. Seaver finished 1977 with 21 wins and threw a no-hitter for Cincinnati the following year. The Mets didn't have another winning season until 1984.
NEW YORK YANKEES
August 1949: Acquired Johnny Mize from Giants for cash.
New York's most famous deal — the one that made Babe Ruth a Yankee — took place during the offseason. As for midseason swaps, this deal in 1949 gave New York a future Hall of Famer who would hit 25 home runs the following year. The Yankees won the World Series all five years Mize was with the team.
August 1992: Traded Jose Canseco to Rangers for Jeff Russell, Ruben Sierra, Bobby Witt and cash.
Canseco was 28 years old and four years removed from his 40-40 season when the A's sent him to Texas. Oakland won the AL West anyway, but this was the beginning of the end for the Bash Brothers era.
July 2009: Acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco from Indians for Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp and Lou Marson.
The Phillies won their third of five straight NL East titles after trading for Lee, who went 4-0 in the postseason and helped Philadelphia win the pennant for the second consecutive year.
June 1979: Acquired Bill Madlock, Lenny Randle and Dave Roberts from Giants for Fred Breining, Al Holland and Ed Whitson.
Trading Jose Bautista a few years ago still stings, but Pirates fans can look back more fondly on this deal. Madlock hit .328 for Pittsburgh in 1979, and the Pirates won the World Series. He went on to win batting titles in 1981 and 1983.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
June 1993: Acquired Trevor Hoffman, Andres Berumen and Jose Martinez from Marlins for Rich Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield.
The deal was part of the same fire sale that sent McGriff to the Braves, but the Padres struck gold with this move. Sheffield was a star, but Hoffman saved at least 40 games nine times for San Diego.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
July 1987: Acquired Kevin Mitchell, Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts from Padres for Chris Brown, Keith Comstock, Mark Davis and Mark Grant.
The Giants won the NL West in 1987 with contributions from all three players they received in this deal. Mitchell won the MVP in 1989 and Davis took the Cy Young Award that year — two seasons after the two were traded for each other.
May 1989: Traded Mark Langston and Mike Campbell to Expos for Gene Harris, Brian Holman and Randy Johnson.
Langston was in his prime when he was sent to Montreal, but the Mariners ended up with an even better left-hander in return. Johnson became one of the game's most intimidating pitchers while with Seattle, and he helped the Mariners to a couple playoff appearances before being traded again.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
June 1964: Acquired Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth from Cubs for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz.
Brock had a hard time getting on base consistently while with the Cubs, but his career took off when St. Louis traded for him. The Hall of Famer hit .348 in 103 games for the Cardinals in that 1964 season. St. Louis edged the Phillies and Reds for the NL pennant with a memorable comeback, then beat the Yankees in a seven-game World Series.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
August 2009: Traded Scott Kazmir to Angels for Sean Rodriguez, Matt Sweeney and Alexander Torres.
There will probably be bigger deals in the future for this young franchise, but Kazmir had been a solid left-hander for the Rays for a few seasons before they cut ties with him when his performance took a downward turn.
July 2007: Traded Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Braves for Beau Jones, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Rangers might be reaping the benefits of this one for a while. Andrus, Feliz and Harrison are key players for the two-time defending AL champions — and at 26, Harrison is the oldest of the trio.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
July 1993: Acquired Rickey Henderson from Athletics for Jose Herrera and Steve Karsay.
Henderson was actually part of two big deals that might have swung championships. First he went from the Yankees to Oakland in 1989 and led the A's to a World Series title. Then he was sent to the Blue Jays and helped them win the World Series for the second year in a row. Toronto's first World Series title in 1992 came after they acquired David Cone in a deal that sent Jeff Kent to the Mets.
June 2002: Acquired Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew from Indians for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens.
The Expos were facing possible contraction but were also in the hunt for a playoff spot, so general manager Omar Minaya went for broke. Montreal ended up falling well short of the postseason, and Lee, Phillips and Sizemore blossomed into stars elsewhere. The Expos remained in existence but later moved to Washington.
Information from baseball-reference.com was used in this report.