With an uneventful 2016 MLB trade deadline so far, at the time this was written, that’s seen a vetoed trade and one lone All-Star deal between the Yankees and Indians, this week’s Pick-Six focuses on the positives. The trade deadline’s drama is usually a highlight of the summer, and some of the MLB’s biggest trades ever have come at the end of July, changing the landscape of the league. To celebrate these blockbusters, it’s time to look at the best trades in trade deadline history.
6. The Red Sox Trade Manny Ramirez To The Dodgers In 2008
Manny Ramirez was at the center of the trade drama for years and years during his long tenure in Boston, and it finally came to a head in the summer of 2008. The Red Sox had finally had enough of Manny being Manny, mainly after he feigned a knee injury and refused to give a full effort when he was on the field. The team finally pulled the plug on a deal, as they traded Ramirez to the Dodgers for Andy LaRoche and minor-league pitcher Bryan Morris. Ramirez went on to light up the National League, hitting 17 home runs in 53 games and putting on a clinic in the postseason before the Dodgers fell in the NLCS.
5. The Mariners Trade Derek Lowe And Jason Varitek To The Red Sox in 1997
Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek were key members of the Red Sox organization for an entire decade, and were especially important in their improbable 2004 World Series run. The two were traded by the Mariners for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb, and made huge impacts for the Red Sox over the next ten years. Lowe had great success as both a reliever and a starter, with his best season coming in 2002 as an All-Star starting pitcher, won 21 games and finished in the Cy Young voting’s top three. His biggest moments came in the 2004 postseason, where he pitched in both Game 4 and Game 7 of the infamous ALCS against the Yankees. Varitek led the way emotionally for the Sox as captain, while also helping the team with his work behind and at the plate.
4. The Indians Trade Cliff Lee To The Phillies in 2009
Cliff Lee was a dominant pitcher in the American League for years after a trade between the Indians and Expos landed him in Cleveland. The stud won the AL Cy Young Award in 2008, and then became the first of two Cleveland stars (the other you can probably guess on your own) to leave the city for bigger waters. Lee was traded to the Phillies for Carlos Carrasco, and the deal proved to be worthwhile for both sides, with Philadelphia gaining the edge in the end. Lee helped to lead the team to the 2009 World Series against the Yankees, after going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in the entire postseason.
3. The Red Sox Trade Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs in 2004
This one still hurts way too much. I remember this day vividly, as my eight-year-old self was distraught to find out that one of my favorite players had been traded away. However, looking back, the move was one of the best things to ever happen to the Red Sox, as the team went on to win the World Series later that year. However, at the time, it was one of the most shocking deals in MLB history, as the Red Sox were deep in a playoff run. No one expected them to trade one of their stars, but Theo Epstein pulled the trigger and sent Nomar over to Chicago in a four-team deal that gave the Sox Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos.
2. The Phillies Trade Curt Schilling To The Diamondbacks in 2000
This deal was, in my opinion, one of the deadliest in league history, as it put together one of the best 1-2 punches in a pitching rotation the MLB had ever seen. Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling together made the Diamondbacks an instant threat, as was evident by the team’s World Series win in 2001. Arizona got Schilling for a package of Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla to the Phillies, and the star pitcher didn’t let the team down by any means. Schilling was a stud on the mound for Arizona, as he started three times in the 2001 World Series against the Yankees, pitching in 21 innings with 26 strikeouts and four earned runs, enough to win him a World Series MVP.
1. The Cubs Trade Lou Brock To The Cardinals In 1964
This trade is arguably one of the most lopsided trades ever, and is very deserving of the top spot in trade deadline history. Before the trade deadline was changed to July 31, it was June 15, and the Cardinals pulled off the heist of the decade with this deal on that fateful day. Ernie Broglio was a struggling, injured pitcher for the Cardinals, who St. Louis was looking to dump onto someone else for a young stud. Enter Lou Brock, who made an immediate impact with the Cardinals. The future Hall of Famer helped the team win the World Series in 1964 and 1967, and finished his career with over 3,000 hits and 938 stolen bases.