For many a baseball fan, the trading deadline is often more exciting to follow then the actual standings.
Who might go where, who is on the block, which prospects are worth trading for?
These are all questions that need answering before the July 31 deadline. And at the end of the day, does it really help? Does picking someone up for the last two months of the season really do anything? Well, see for yourself. Here are some of the more interesting ones from over the years.
Braves got: John Smoltz
Detroit got: Doyle Alexander
This is one of the most interesting deadline deals ever made. On the surface, you could argue it was a horrible trade for the Tigers, since Smoltz turned out to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. Alexander, however, went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA to help win the pennant race for the Tigers, though they lost in the playoffs to the Twins. He made the 1988 All-Star team but retired two years later.
Cardinals got: Mark McGwire
Athletics got: Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews, Blake Stein
Oakland got only six wins out of Ludwick and Stein, and Mathews was a solid pitcher out of the bullpen for several years. McGwire rewrote baseball history in St. Louis and will always be thought of as a Cardinal, even though he spent the first 11 1/2 seasons of his career in Oakland. The Cardinals were 51-54 when they got Big Mac and have been an NL Central powerhouse ever since.
Yankees got: David Cone
Blue Jays got: Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis, Mike Gordon
Cone went 9-2 the rest 1995, leading New York to the postseason after a 15-year absence. He then went 51-24 over the next four seasons. Janzen won a total of six Major League games; Jarvis and Gordon never appeared in a big-league uniform.
Mets got: Frank Viola
Twins got: Rick Aguilera, David West, Tim Drummond, Jack Savage, Kevin Tapani
Viola was the first reigning Cy Young Award winner ever to be dealt midseason. He won 20-games for the Mets the following year, but it was Minnesota that really won out. Their ’91 World Series run was powered by this trade' starter Tapani went 44-26 over the next three seasons and Aguilera went on to post a franchise-record 293 saves.
Oakland got: Rickey Henderson
Yankees got: Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk, Luis Polonia
Henderson had worn out his welcome in New York, and the A's were happy to have him. Rickey helped lead Oakland to the championship, posting a .425 OBP down the stretch and winning the 1990 MVP. Cadaret was a solid swingman for three years, Plunk pitched well for one season and Polonia hit .300 before being shipped off to Anaheim.
Atlanta got: Fred McGriff
San Diego got: Melvin Nieves, Donnie Elliot and Vince Moore
McGriff was the first baseman the Braves had been looking for. For the next three years, including their 1995 championship season, he was one of Atlanta's offensive catalysts. Elliott pitched in 31 games over two seasons for the Padres, Moore never made the majors and Nieves hit .231 for his career.