Deal or No Deal?MLB Trade Deadline expires on July 31
We have just went past the halfway mark of the Major League season, and every ballclub is looking at their players trying to figure a way to improve its roster, or its bottom line, through a trade or trades.
But each team has only a few more days before the July 31 trade deadline.
When the clock strikes 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday, July 31, it will mark the last time that teams can make trades without the complicated process of having players clear waivers.
The next five days are critical for every team because a successful trade can shore up their rosters for the pennant race, increasing a division lead or sparking a run to overcome the division leader, or attempting to salvage something from a disastrous season.
But I remind you, the key phrase is “successful trade.”
Every fan hopes his or her favorite ballclub makes that one key trade that will turn their contender into a champion.
And there is no guarantee a trade will work out for both sides, or just for one team.
Let’s take a look at some of the most recent best midseason deals.
2000 - Yankees get Justice
In 2000, the Cleveland Indians dealt David Justice to the New York Yankees.
Justice had an immediate impact in the 78 games he played for the Bronx Bombers.
He helped the Yankees win the AL East and the World Series as he belted 20 home runs and three more in the postseason in the famous pinstripe uniform.
In comparison, the Indians got Jake Westbrook and Ricky Ledee in the deal.
Obviously, one team made out like a bandit and the other didn’t.
1998 - ‘The Big Unit’ dealt to Houston
In 1998, the Seattle Mariners sent 6-foot-10 left-handed pitcher Randy Johnson over to the Houston Astros in exchange for Carlos Guillen, Freddy Garcia and John Halama.
All the “Big Unit” did was go 10-1 in the first 11 starts and that helped the Houston Astros the the NL Central crown.
The Astros, however, lost in the first-round of the playoffs.
Johnson never stayed in Houston for the 1999 season as he bolted to Arizona.
1993 - the Crimedog goes to Atlanta
In 1993, the Atlanta Braves were a struggling offensive team and the San Diego Padres were looking to cut their payroll.
So the Friars traded McGrif to the Bravos for three minor leaguers.
Bad trade for San Diego and great trade for Atlanta, as the Braves went on to win the NL West crown with McGriff hitting at a .310 clip with 55 RBI.
2008 - Hollywood becomes Mannywood
I’m not a fan and never been a fan of Manny Ramirez and his shenanigans. But when the Boston Red Sox traded Ramirez before the 2008 deadline to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the deal turned out to be a great — for the Dodgers.
Ramirez helped the Dodgers win the NL West by hitting for a .396 average with 17 home runs in a 53-game span. During the playoffs, Ramirez hit .520 with four homers and had 10 RBI.
2006 - Abreu dealt to the Bronx Bombers
Oh boy, in 2006, the New York Yankees traded four minor leaguers to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Bobby Abreu.
Basically, the Phillies were just looking to free up some cash. But the trade obviously worked out well for the Yanks.
Abreu batted .330 and hit seven homers as the Yankees pulled away from the Red Sox in the AL East.
1984 - The best-ever midseason trade
In mid-June, 1984 the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs made the mother of all midseason trades.
Cleveland sent Rick Sutcliffe to the Cubs for outfielders Mel Hall and Joe Carter.
Once Sutcliffe landed in Wrigley Field, he began to pay huge dividends as he went 166-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 20 starts.
Sutcliffe’s performance inspired the Cubbies, which went 62-40 after June 13, to the NL East championship and the club’s first postseason appearance since 1945.
Despite playing only half the season with Chicago, Sutcliffe won the National League Cy Young Award.
One not-so-great deal
In 2007, the Texas Rangers traded first baseman Mark Teixeira and lefty Ron Mahay to Atlanta for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, right-hander Neftali Feliz and southpaws Matt Harrison and Beau Jones.
What were the Bravos thinking?
A year later, the Braves move Teixeira, with free agency looming, to the Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels for Casey Kotchman and pitcher Stephen Marek.
Imagine today’s Braves with Andrus at short, Harrison in the rotation and Feliz as the closer or even its set-up man.
Deal or no deal?
In 2003, the Florida Marlins were shopping for an outfielder and were willing to give up talented rookie Miguel Cabrera.
But no deal could be made for Cabrera and the Marlins stayed with the powerful infielder.
Wise decision as Cabrera hit three home runs against the Cubs in the NLCS, a prelude to four consecutive All-Star seasons for the Marlins.
Now, you are probably asking why I bring this up?
Well, in December of 2007, the Florida Marlins sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit in exchange for outfielder Cameron Maybin, pitcher Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo and minor league pitchers Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Burke Badenhop to the Marlins.
Holy grand slam Batman! Can you imagine the Tigers without the best hitter in baseball? And do you think the Marlins regret the trade?
Sometimes you gotta wonder about general managers. But I do know this, Detroit thanks the Marlins every game “Miggy” takes the field.