Dodgers' all-time Top 5 in-season trades
Ramirez deal tops list of notable midseason imports for storied franchise
LOS ANGELES -- Considering their longevity and success, the Dodgers have a long list of in-season trades from which to choose, but all of them compete for runner-up honors compared to the 2008 jackpot acquisition of troubled hitting machine Manny Ramirez.
Other than the glaring omission of a World Series, Ramirez's performance pretty much set the bar for a Trade Deadline acquisition, as he ignited a foundering offense and turned around a city and his team.
Other trades have succeeded in various ways -- some for the long term, like Reggie Smith, others providing an immediate boost into a postseason berth, like Bill Madlock. And quite a few didn't make the cut, including memorable names like Steve Finley, Greg Maddux and Burt Hooton.
1. July 31, 2008: The Dodgers received Ramirez from the Red Sox, while the Dodgers sent Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Pirates. Boston sent Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh for Jason Bay.
Ramirez hit .396 in 53 games and took Los Angeles to the playoffs, where he broke out of his "slump" and hit .500 in the National League Division Series and .533 in the NLCS. Oh, what a nightmare he became when he parlayed those three months into a $45 million contract. But Mannywood sure was fun while it lasted.
2. May 15, 1956: The Dodgers purchased right-hander Sal Maglie from Cleveland for $10,000.
This was almost as nutty as the Dodgers signing arch-villain Juan Marichal. Maglie had never taken a bat to a Dodger's head, but he threw enough beanballs at them as a Giant when the crosstown rivalry was bloodthirsty, beating the Dodgers 23 times in six years. The Dodgers needed a starter in 1956 and he went 13-5 with a 2.97 ERA with a no-hitter, finished second to teammate Don Newcombe for the first Cy Young Award, helped get the Dodgers into the World Series and went 1-1 against the Yankees, getting the loss in Don Larsen's perfect game.
3. Aug. 31, 1985: The Dodgers received third baseman Bill Madlock from the Pirates for players to be named. On Sept. 3, Los Angeles sent outfielder R.J. Reynolds, and on Sept. 9 outfielder Cecil Espy and first baseman Sid Bream to Pittsburgh.
Madlock hit .360, filled the black hole at third base and helped the team reach the playoffs. But he couldn't do anything about Jack Clark.
4. June 15, 1976: The Dodgers received outfielder Reggie Smith, sending Fred Tisdale, Bob Detherage and Joe Ferguson to St. Louis.
There was no immediate payoff in 1976, but in his time with Los Angeles, Smith went on to three All-Star berths and played on three World Series teams, including the 1981 World Series champions.
5. Sept. 3, 1987: The Dodgers received right-hander Tim Belcher as player to be named later after sending left-hander Rick Honeycutt to the A's on Aug. 29, 1987.
A trade that helped both clubs reach the World Series the next year, Honeycutt was the veteran who made the transition to the bullpen for Oakland. Belcher was the rookie, but he quickly assumed a starting role in the loaded rotation for Los Angeles, which won it all the following year.
5A. Aug. 25, 2012: The Dodgers received first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto from the Red Sox. Los Angeles sent Ivan De Jesus, James Loney, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa to Boston.
The trade didn't get the Dodgers to the postseason last year, but it gets an honorable mention for sheer audacity.
Other honorable mention in-season acquisitions: Finley (2004), Hooton (1975), Brandon League ('12), Maddux ('06), George Sherrill ('09) and Marlon Anderson ('06).
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.