Dodgers' 5 biggest Winter Meetings deals

December 8th, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- Now that the Dodgers have won a World Series for the first time since 1988, the goal is their first back-to-back championships in franchise history. The last time they had that opportunity, they traded for a future Hall of Famer, Eddie Murray.

They enter the first virtual Winter Meetings with a deeper, more talented roster than they had 32 years ago and likely a less ambitious shopping list, although relief pitching and right-handed hitting seem the most likely targets.

Here’s a look at the club’s five most impactful transactions from Winter Meetings past:

*1. 1955 -- Lost Roberto Clemente in Rule 5 Draft**
Disclaimer: Although the Rule 5 Draft has become synonymous with the Winter Meetings, the one in 1954 actually was held a week earlier. Regardless, that’s when the Dodgers left Clemente unprotected and former club president Branch Rickey snagged him for the Pirates. Although the Dodgers won four World Series during Clemente’s Pittsburgh career, one can only wonder how dominant they could have been with the future Hall of Famer.

2. 1973 -- Acquired Mike Marshall from Montreal for Willie Davis
Marshall won the 1974 National League Cy Young Award, finished third in NL MVP voting and helped the Dodgers reach the World Series in a first season in L.A. that will probably never be duplicated. Remember, Marshall was a relief pitcher. But that season, he threw 208 1/3 innings, pitched in 106 games, had 15 wins and an NL-leading 21 saves. He had eight outings of at least four innings and one of six innings. Davis had a respectable season for the Expos after the trade of All-Stars.

3. 1987 -- Acquired Alfredo Griffin, Jay Howell and Jesse Orosco for Bob Welch, Jack Savage and Matt Young in a three-team trade
Kirk Gibson won the MVP and Orel Hershiser the Cy Young, but the Dodgers couldn't have gone from 89 losses in 1987 to a parade down Broadway if GM Fred Claire hadn't shored up the defense with Griffin and the bullpen with Howell and Orosco, even though it cost him a future Cy Young winner in Welch.

4. 2014 -- Andrew Friedman takes over the Winter Meetings
They weren't the biggest individual transactions, but in the space of 24 hours, new management blew up a first-place roster by swinging six deals with four teams, involving 19 players and a free agent. Among the additions were Yasmani Grandal, Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick. The only acquisitions from those Meetings still around for the World Series celebration in October were Kiké Hernández and Austin Barnes.

5. 1999 -- Kevin Brown signs $105 million contract
Another new GM, another big splash. Kevin Malone gave baseball’s first nine-figure guarantee to the mercurial Brown, who had four solid seasons out of five with the Dodgers before being unloaded by another new GM (Dan Evans) to the Yankees with two years left on a seven-year contract.

Honorable mention: 2012, Zack Greinke signs six-year, $147 million free-agent contract.