Saturday, July 27, 2013
Best deadline deal ever: Dodgers
By David Schoenfield
Throughout July, we're presenting 30 deals in 30 days: the best trade-deadline deal ever made by each team. We wrap up with the NL West.
THE TEAM: Los Angeles Dodgers
THE YEAR: 2008
THE SITUATION: Tired of Manny Ramirez complaining about wanting a new contract and his lack of hustle, the Red Sox were shopping the outfielder as the trade deadline approached, even though they were just a couple of games out in the AL East. They reportedly came close to a deal with the Marlins, who decided not to give up Class A outfielder Mike Stanton.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, were a game out of first place after winning on July 30 but were looking to upgrade their outfield, where Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre were in a center-/left-field platoon but were not producing (Jones would hit .158 on the season). After the Marlins deal didn't work out, the Red Sox, Pirates and Dodgers engineered a three-team deal on July 31.
THE TRADE: The Dodgers acquired Ramirez from the Red Sox, trading prospects Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Pirates. The Pirates sent Jason Bay to the Red Sox for Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen.
THE AFTERMATH: Ramirez went on a tear after joining the Dodgers, hitting .396/.489/.743 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games. Ramirez was worth 3.5 WAR for the Dodgers, who ended up winning the NL West by just two games over the Diamondbacks. His two-month stint was so impressive that he finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Considering the prospects the Dodgers gave up haven't done much -- although Morris is finally a member of the Pirates' bullpen this year -- it's exactly what you want out of a deadline trade, a guy who made the difference in making the playoffs, without giving up much in return.
The Dodgers would beat the Cubs in the division series before losing to the Phillies in the NLCS. Ramirez hit .520 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in eight postseason games. The next year, Ramirez again helped the Dodgers reach the NLCS.
Bay helped the Red Sox reach the playoffs in 2008 and 2009.