Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on Monday. The fortunes of contending teams can often change dramatically thanks to last-minute deals, and this year should be no different.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the 10 best, most impactful deadline deals in baseball history. Some of which wound up working out for both teams involved.
Cespedes Goes to the Big Apple
The New York Mets needed a bat at the 2015 trade deadline and they landed a big one when they sent Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes. In his first 41 games for the Mets, Cespedes hit .309, with 17 home runs and 42 RBI while slugging .691. All-in-all, he finished his final 57 games of the season he posted an OPS of .941 and posted 66 hits.
Cespedes helped the Mets to the World Series, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals. Unfortunately, he hit just .150 in the series, and his 17 total postseason strikeouts were awful. Still, without Cespedes, the Mets don’t make that World Series.
Meanwhile, the Tigers didn’t do poorly, as Fulmer has the makings of an ace at just 24 years old.
The Big Unit heads to the Lone Star State
This is another deal that worked out for both teams in the long run, but the Houston Astros had to add a starting pitcher in 1998, and they unloaded a ton to secure one. Randy Johnson was sent to Houston in exchange for Freddy Garcia, John Halama and Carlos Guillen.
Johnson went 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA and four shutouts in 11 starts. He also struck out 116 hitters in 84.1 innings. The Big Unit was flat out amazing and the Astros won the National League Central on his back. Unfortunately, Houston lost Johnson’s two postseason starts (Game 1 and Game 4) in the NLDS to the San Diego Padres. He left in free agency after the season, but man was he phenomenal for the Astros. He finished 7th in NL Cy Young voting despite only being on the team for 11 starts.
Meanwhile, Garcia and Halama combined to go 28-13 and Guillen was the starting shortstop for the Mariners team that won 116 games in 2001. The trio also combined for a 33.3 WAR as members of the Mariners.
LA turns into Mannywood
The Boston Red Sox were ready to move on from Manny Ramirez and they did so on July 31, 2008. In a three-way trade the Los Angeles Dodgers got Ramirez, Andy LaRoche, Bryan Morris, Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss went to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Jason Bay went to the Red Sox.
Ramirez played 53 games during the rest of 2008 and exploded. He posted a .396/.489/.743 slash line, and had 17 home runs, 53 RBI and posted an OPS of 1.232. In eight postseason games, Ramirez hit .520 with four home runs, 10 RBI and 11 walks again four strikeouts. He also had an unholy OPS of 1.747. Were those numbers crazy for a 36-year-old? Yes. Were they steroids-fueled? Almost certainly. But still, the results are what mattered and Ramirez provided them.
Bay won a Silver Slugger and was an All-Star in 2009, but the Dodgers won this deal by a long-shot.
Diamondbacks get a Schill
The Arizona Diamondbacks landed Curt Schilling on July 26, 2000 and paired him with Randy Johnson to form one of the best pitching duos in baseball history. Schilling went 5-6 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 2000, but the next year is where things took off.
Schilling went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP and had 293 strikeouts in 256.2 innings. He and Johnson also led the Diamondbacks to a seven game win over the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
The Brew Crew gets a big man
CC Sabathia was set to hit free agency after the 2008 season, but the Milwaukee Brewers went all-in for him. They sent Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson and Michael Brantley to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Sabathia, who was outstanding down the stretch.
In the span of 83 days, Sabathia threw a ridiculous 130.2 innings. He went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, with 128 strikeouts against just 25 walks. He threw seven complete games and had three shutouts. He led the Brewers to a Wild Card berth and their first postseason appearance since 1982.
The Brewers lost to the Phillies in the NLDS, but Sabathia was everything Milwaukee asked for and more.