August 20, 2008

Can it get any bigger? (That's what she said!)

In December, we told you about the biggest deals in league history. At the time, there was a three-way tie for first, going by total number of commodities (players plus picks) exchanged. But we had to tear up that article and write a new one, because two blockbuster deals swung this season pushed that those deals all the way down into a tie for third. There also was a nine-commodity deal made in November, which is tied for sixth-biggest all-time, and two seven-commodity trades, tied for 12th.

Was it just a fluke that there were a lot of big trades this year, or are we entering the era of the mega-deal? We'll see what happens in 2009. For now, let's update the records.

Size Matters: The DMBL's Biggest Deals

Date Commodities Team Gets Team Gets
Jan. 29,
15 (4 for 11):
4 players
11 picks
DH Jim Thome
SP A.J. Burnett
RP Pat Neshek
RP Rafael Betancourt
MAR '08 1st Rd (Rickie Weeks)
'08 4th Rd (Austin Kearns)
'08 6th Rd (Franklin Gutierrez)
'08 7th Rd (Carlos Villanueva)
'08 10th Rd (Taylor Tankersley)
'08 13th Rd (Dontrelle Willis)
'09 1st Rd (TBD)
'09 7th Rd (TBD
'09 10th Rd (TBD)
'10 7th Rd (TBD)
'10 14th Rd (TBD)
Jan. 4,
11 (5 for 6):
5 players
2 players, 4 picks
3B Alex Rodriguez
OF Adam Dunn
SP Jeremy Bonderman
SP Ian Snell
RP Jonathan Broxton
HIL OF Nick Markakis
SP Dan Haren
'08 7th Rd (Kevin Slowey)
'09 4th Rd (TBD)
'09 7th Rd (TBD)
'10 5th Rd (TBD)
Feb. 26,
10 (3 for 7):
1 player,  2 picks
1 player, 6 picks
3B Adrian Beltre
'05 1st Rd (David Wright)
'06 6th Rd (Justin Morneau)
HIL SP C.C. Sabathia
'05 1st Rd (Jeremy Bonderman)
'05 2nd Rd (Coco Crisp)
'06 1st Rd (Kyle Farnsworth)
'06 3rd Rd (Bobby Jenks)
'07 2nd Rd (Josh Willingham)
'07 4th Rd (Jason Bartlett)
April 9,
10 (5 for 5):
3 players,  2 picks
3 players, 2 picks
OF Henry Rodriguez
RP John Rocker
RP Arthur Rhodes
'00 3rd Rd (Masato Yoshii)
'01 3rd Rd (Byung Hyun Kim)
HAW 1B Todd Helton
SP Scott Elarton
'00 6th Rd (Bobby Howry)
'01 5th Rd (team folded)
'01 6th Rd (team folded)
April 13,
10 (3 for 7):
3 players
4 players,  3 picks
SP Kevin Brown
SP Denny Neagle
RP Jeff Nelson
LOU 1B Andres Galarraga
OF Jose Cruz Jr.
SP Ismael Valdes
SP Tom Gordon
'99 2nd Rd (Jose Hernandez)
'99 6th Rd (Ricky Bones)
'99 9th Rd (John Hudek)
Nov. 29,
9 (2 for 7):
1 player, 1 pick
7 players
OF Ichiro Suzuki
'08 4th Rd (traded)
NJ 2B Kaz Matsui
SS Jhonny Peralta
OF Corey Hart
OF Shane Victorino
SP Joe Blanton
SP Oliver Perez
RP George Sherrill
July 13,
9 (4 for 5):
2 players, 2 picks
3 players, 2 picks
C Tom Wilson
SP Mark Redman
'04 1st Rd (Geoff Jenkins)
'04 4th Rd (Curtis Leskanic)
NWK C Mike Piazza
SP Orlando Hernandez
RP Jayson Durocher
'04 14th Rd (Brian Schneider)
'04 15th Rd (Tomo Ohka)
Jan. 24,
9 (5 for 4):
5 players
3 players, 1 pick
1B Will Clark
3B Scott Brosius
OF Moises Alou
SP Scott Erickson
SP Mark Leiter
PHI 1B Mo Vaughn
SS Omar Vizquel
OF Rusty Greer
'99 1st Rd (J.D. Drew)
June 26,
9 (3 for 6):
3 players
2 players, 4 picks
C Dan Wilson
OF Kenny Lofton
SP Curt Schilling
VAN C Javy Lopez
OF Ryan Klesko
'99 3rd Rd (Jerry Spradlin)
'00 1st Rd (Jeff Zimmerman)
'00 3rd Rd (Henry Rodriguez)
'01 4th Rd (Jose Jimenez)
Jan. 16,
8 (6 for 2):
6 players
2 players
C Mike Lieberthal
1B Tino Martinez
OF Steve Finley
OF Bobby Higginson
SP Steve Parris
RP Turk Wendell
STP 1B Todd Helton
RP Rich Garces
Nov. 2,
8 (2 for 6):
2 players
4 players, 2 picks
OF Brian Giles
RP Armando Benitez
KEY OF Dante Bichette
OF Raul Mondesi
RP Rudy Seanez
RP Paul Shuey
'00 8th Rd (Joe Mays)
'00 11th Rd (Travis Fryman)

And now for a closer look at some of the records -- all set or tied this season by Las Vegas!

Las Vegas Rat Pack

• The Jan, 29, 2008, trade between Las Vegas and Marietta set the records for Total Commodities Exchanged (15) and Total Picks Exchanged (11), and Most Commodities Given Up By One Side and Most Picks Given Up By One Side (11, by Las Vegas), and Most Lopsided Deal (four for 11, a net of seven commodities for Marietta). The second-most lopsided deal in history also was swung by Las Vegas: The Nov. 29, 2007 trade with New Jersey (one player plus a pick for seven players, a net of five commodities for Jersey).

• The record for Total Players Exchanged is eight, shared by three trades: The Jan. 24, 1999 trade between New York and Philadelphia (five players for three players and a pick); the Jan. 16, 2001 trade between Brooklyn and Stanhope (two players for six players); and the Nov. 29, 2007 trade between Las Vegas and New Jersey (one player plus a pick for seven players).

• The record for Most Players Given Up By One Side is seven, by Las Vegas, in the Nov. 29, 2007, deal with New Jersey.

Chris Nabholz was the subject of one of the league's most controversial trades on Dec. 12, 1991, when the Austin Outlaws southpaw was dealt to the Scranton Sparrows for unspecified "future considerations." The cantankerous owners couldn't agree on adequate compensation and ultimately the trade was resolved through arbitration, with Scranton getting Austin's 5th and 15th round picks in 1993. Trades for "future considerations," players to be named later, cash and so on were banned after this trade. Nabholz now lives in Pottsville, Pa., where he helps coach the local high school team and at baseball camps. Click Here for past articles.