Best Recent Trade Deadline Trades

Curt Schilling's acquisition by Arizona helped the 2001 D'backs win a World Series.Googie Man, Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0

By John Supowitz

As we're just days away from the trade deadline, teams are going to make a push to improve their clubs for their playoff run. Some trades that have come at this ;late date have made a massive impact and set the course for years. Here are a couple of trades before August 1st that were very successful:

  • The Philadelphia Phillies send Curt Schilling to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects in 2000.

The fairly new Diamondbacks decided to send off four prospects to Philadelphia. A couple of those prospects would have some success for the Phillies, including Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla, but Arizona would be the clear winners of this deal.

With Randy Johnson and Schilling atop the rotation, Arizona would go on to beat the heavily-favored three-peated New York Yankees with a dramatic walk-off base-hit by Luis Gonzalez

  • The Oakland Athletics send Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals for prospects in 2009.

Holliday's stint in Oakland would be short-lived, as he was acquired in the previous off-season from Colorado and played just 93 games for A's.

The prospect the Athletics would get in return made a little mark in the majors, but Holliday would become a beloved player in St. Louis, including four All-Star appearances and a World Series title. 

  • The San Diego Padres trade Fred McGriff to the Atlanta Braves for prospects in 1993.

The Crime Dog would be coming off his first All-Star appearance and a Silver Slugger Award award the previous season when the Padres would ship him off the Braves.

None of the prospects in return would make an impact in San Diego, but McGriff would be a three-time All-Star and help Atlanta catch a World Series title in 1995.

  • Red Sox acquire Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek from the Mariners for Heathcliff Slocumb in 1997.

This trade would take some time to pan out, but for the Red Sox, it really did. 

Boston would send its closer, who had 5.79 ERA at the time, to Seattle, where he would play a little better after the trade, then spend one more year there.

Lowe would be a two-time All-Star and 20-game winner for Boston while Varitek would become captain of the Red Sox during his 15 seasons. Both would play important roles in Boston's future success.

  • The Cincinnati Reds trade Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for prospects in 2015. 

The Royals were on a quest to return to the World Series after losing to the Giants the previous year.

Kansas City knew it was Cueto’s walk year but pulled the trigger anyway. He did not pitch well for Kaycee during the regular season but threw a complete game in the World Series to help the Royals win the title.

John Supowitz is a graduate with a Master's degree in Sports Journalism from Quinnipiac University. He is a baseball writer for Prime Time Sports Talk and a Game Operations Producer for the Colorado Rockies AA affiliate Hartford Yard Goats. Reach him at

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