10 biggest trades in Dodgers history

December 1st, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have made some of the best, worst and, certainly, biggest trades in baseball history.

Here are 10 that span the spectrum.

1. Manny Ramirez from Boston in a three-team trade
Dodgers got from Boston: OF Manny Ramirez
Dodgers gave up: INF Andy LaRoche and RHP Bryan Morris
Date: July 31, 2008

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 NL Championship Series. Ramirez parlayed those three months into a two-year, $45 million contract, then quickly became tainted with a PED suspension. But Mannywood sure was fun while it lasted.

2. Mookie Betts, David Price from Boston
Dodgers got from Boston: OF , LHP and cash
Dodgers gave up: OF , ,
Date: Feb. 10, 2020

Time will tell if "The Mookie Betts trade" will be as impactful as Mannywood or the one that helped deliver the 1988 World Series, but it sure is fun to think about the potential of adding a superstar in his prime to an already loaded lineup, even for only one season. And there’s the possibility of Price picking up the quality innings that Hyun-Jin Ryu threw the previous year.

3. Adrián Gonzalez blockbuster from Boston
Dodgers got from Boston: 1B , RHP , OF , INF and cash
Dodgers gave up: INF , 1B , RHP , RHP , OF
Date: Aug. 25, 2012

Improving the roster was only part of the motivation of this trade, as it also made a statement that new owners Guggenheim Partners were willing to take on payroll (like a quarter billion dollars) after the bankrupt reign of Frank McCourt. The Dodgers ended up eating a bunch of that salary, especially for Crawford and Gonzalez, and the trade didn't even improve the club that season. But the five players dealt away did far less on the field than the four the Dodgers received.

4. Alfredo Griffin, Jay Howell, Jesse Orosco in a three-team trade
Dodgers got from Oakland, Mets: SS Alfredo Griffin, RHP Jay Howell, LHP Jesse Orosco
Dodgers gave up: RHP Bob Welch, LHP Matt Young, RHP Jack Savage
Date: Dec. 11, 1987

Not often do you trade a future Cy Young Award winner (Welch) and call the deal a success, but GM Fred Claire did. The Dodgers wouldn't have won the 1988 World Series without Kirk Gibson, but they probably wouldn't have won without this trade either, as it filled gaping holes at shortstop, closer and situational lefty. If a World Series win defines success, they arguably haven't made a more successful trade since.

5. Gary Sheffield blockbuster for Mike Piazza
Dodgers got from Florida: OF Gary Sheffield, RHP Manuel Barrios, OF Bobby Bonilla, OF Jim Eisenreich, C Charles Johnson
Dodgers gave up: C Mike Piazza, 3B Todd Zeile
Date: May 14, 1998

The imperfect storm: A great player and his agent miscalculated their leverage in a contract squabble with a studio executive suddenly running a baseball team behind the back of the general manager. The result was an impetuous trade made by all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. Piazza's in the Hall of Fame wearing a Mets cap. Sheffield was a two-time All-Star with the Dodgers, but there was nothing he could do to change the perception of a trade that never should have happened.

6. Pee Wee Reese from Boston
Dodgers got from Boston: SS Pee Wee Reese
Dodgers gave up: RHP Red Evans, OF Art Parks and $150,000
Date: July 18, 1939

In The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn postulates that the Red Sox moved Reese to the Dodgers because he played the same position at Triple-A that then Boston player/manager Joe Cronin played. Whatever the reason, it was probably the best trade the Dodgers ever made, as Reese became the team captain, a Hall of Famer and champion of Jackie Robinson.

7. Dazzy Vance from New Orleans
Dodgers got from New Orleans: RHP Dazzy Vance and C Hank DeBerry
Dodgers gave up: Cash
Date: April 1922

According to a Hall of Fame bio, Vance "had a strong season for the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern League in 1921, but at the age of 30, was far from a hot prospect. But the Pelicans had a catcher named Hank DeBerry whom the Dodgers wanted, so New Orleans offered DeBerry along with Vance in a package deal for $10,000. The Dodgers took the deal, and Vance won 18 games as a 31-year-old rookie in 1922, en route to a Hall of Fame career."

8. Andy Messersmith from Angels
Dodgers got from Angels: RHP Andy Messersmith, 3B Ken McMullen
Dodgers gave up: OF Frank Robinson, INF Billy Grabarkewitz, RHP Bill Singer, RHP Mike Strahler, OF Bobby Valentine
Date: Nov. 28, 1972

In the biggest trade between the local rivals, the Dodgers gave up a future Hall of Famer and got a 20-game winner and two-time All-Star. But Messersmith will forever be remembered for what he did off the field -- along with Montreal's Dave McNally, Messersmith won an arbitration hearing challenging the reserve clause that opened the door to free agency.

9. Dusty Baker from Atlanta
Dodgers got from Atlanta: OF Dusty Baker, INF Ed Goodson
Dodgers gave up: UT Lee Lacy, OF Tom Paciorek, INF Jerry Royster, OF Jimmy Wynn
Date: Nov. 17, 1975

After the Braves traded his mentor, Hank Aaron, to Milwaukee, Baker asked Atlanta general manager Eddie Robinson to trade him closer to his West Coast home. Baker got his wish. After a rough first season with the Dodgers, Baker became a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner, playing in three World Series for the Dodgers.

10. Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from Nationals
Dodgers got from Washington: RHP Max Scherzer, SS Trea Turner
Dodgers gave up: C Keibert Ruiz; RHP Josiah Gray; RHP Gerardo Carrillo; OF Donovan Casey
Date: July 30, 2021

Although the Dodgers ultimately fell a game short of their ninth consecutive NL West title -- and also fell short of repeating as World Series champions -- this was a blockbuster fans won’t soon forget. Scherzer was absolutely dominant upon joining the Dodgers, posting a 1.98 ERA and 0.82 WHIP as L.A. won all 11 of his regular-season starts. Turner, meanwhile, slashed .338/.385/.565 with 10 homers and 11 stolen bases en route to winning the NL batting title with an MLB-best .328 average. Though Scherzer left for the Mets that offseason, Turner, who had another year on his contract, was set to be the Dodgers’ primary shortstop in 2022.