The coronavirus pandemic brought so many changes to the 2020 MLB season, including the very brief return of an August Trade Deadline. August 31 used to be the home of the waiver Trade Deadline, in which players who cleared waivers could still be dealt even after the passing of the traditional July 31 non-waiver Deadline that typically sees the lion's share of action. The August 31 Deadline went away (seemingly for good) in '19, but it is back in '20 as the only Deadline in an unprecedented 60-game season.
With the August Deadline making a one-year return cameo, here is a look back at the best August trade each team has ever made:
Acquired: LF Justin Upton from DET
Gave up: RHP Grayson Long and a player to be named or cash
Date: Aug. 31, 2017
The Angels acquired Upton in the midst of their playoff push last season, giving the club a middle-of-the-order bat to slot behind Mike Trout in their lineup. While the Angels ultimately fell short in the American League Wild Card race, Upton posted an .887 OPS with seven home runs in 27 games before deciding to re-sign with the club on a five-year, $106 million deal during the offseason.
Acquired: 3B Jeff Bagwell from BOS
Gave up: RHP Larry Andersen
Date: Aug. 30, 1990
As impactful as the Astros' trade was last year to land Justin Verlander, the club's 1990 trade netted a player who would don an Astros uniform for all 15 years of his Major League career and end up in the Hall of Fame. Bagwell is the greatest slugger in Astros history, winning the 1991 National League Rookie of the Year Award and the 1994 NL Most Valuable Player Award, being named to four All-Star teams and belting 449 career home runs. The first baseman led a resurgence of baseball in Houston in the 1990s and helped take the franchise to new heights in the early 2000s.
Andersen was a 16-year-veteran who had a 1.95 ERA in 50 appearances on the season for Houston at the time of the trade. With Bagwell, a third baseman at the time, blocked by future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs at the position, Boston made the deal for a reliever who would appear in 15 games with a 1.23 ERA. That winter, Andersen signed as a free agent with the Padres, and pitched for two seasons with San Diego before his final two seasons with the Phillies.
Acquired: SS Stephen Drew from ARI
Gave up: INF Sean Jamieson
Date: Aug. 20, 2012
The A's might have outdone themselves this year with the additions of relievers Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley, but their 2012 trade for Drew gave them a significant upgrade at shortstop, which was a vital piece at the time. Drew collected 16 RBIs in 39 regular-season games, then came up with four hits in 19 at-bats during the AL Division Series against the Tigers, including an RBI double in a one-run Game 4 victory that sent the series to a winner-take-all affair.
Acquired: 3B/OF Jose Bautista from PIT
Gave up: C Robinson Diaz
Date: Aug. 21, 2008
The Blue Jays weren't expecting big things from Bautista, but they needed a temporary replacement for the injured Scott Rolen and he fit the bill. Toronto had to part only with a fringe prospect to get the deal done, and his versatility at first base, right field and second base kept Bautista on the team even after Rolen returned. Two years later, Bautista made franchise history by hitting 54 home runs in a single season, and he ultimately turned into one of the best players to ever wear the blue and white.
Acquired: RHP John Smoltz from DET
Gave up: RHP Doyle Alexander
Date: Aug. 12, 1987
The Tigers won each of Alexander's 11 remaining regular-season starts and captured the American League East title in 1987; the 36-year-old would pitch two more seasons for Detroit, including an All-Star campaign in '88. Meanwhile, Smoltz was just a year removed from high school ball, but would end up constructing a Hall of Fame career as he helped the Braves win 14 consecutive division crowns and the 1995 World Series. He also won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996, and was an eight-time All Star, becoming one of the most successful postseason pitchers in baseball history with a 2.67 ERA over 41 appearances, and the 1992 NL Championship Series MVP Award. A year earlier, he tossed a six-hit shutout of the Pirates in Game 7 of the NLCS to send Atlanta to its first World Series.
Acquired: RHP Don Sutton from HOU
Gave up: Players to be named and cash (OF Kevin Bass and pitchers Frank DiPino and Mike Madden)
Date: Aug. 30, 1982
Bass went on to have a solid 14-year career but the deal was worth it to land Sutton, the future Hall of Famer who represented the final piece of the finest team in Brewers history. Sutton's shining moment for Milwaukee was the '82 regular-season finale in Baltimore, when he allowed two runs in eight innings of a must-win game opposite Orioles ace Jim Palmer. It clinched the American League East and moved the Brewers a step closer to their only World Series appearance to date.
Acquired: OF Larry Walker from COL
Gave up: RHP Jason Burch, LHP Luis Martinez and LHP Chris Narveson
Date: Aug. 6, 2004
In the penultimate year of Walker's career, he accepted a trade to the Cardinals and then helped the club reach the World Series. After hitting .280/.393/.560 with 11 homers in 44 regular-season games, Walker hit six homers and slugged .707 in his second postseason appearance.
Acquired: 1B Randall Simon from PIT
Gave up: OF Ray Sadler
Date: Aug. 17, 2003
The Cubs had made a blockbuster deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to get Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton from the Pirates, then added Simon, who batted .282 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 33 games. Simon provided the spark and the Cubs went 24-16 after he joined the team to win the NL Central. Simon would go on to hit .333 (8-for-24) with three doubles and a homer in the postseason.
Acquired: RHP Livan Hernandez and cash from WAS
Gave up: LHP Matt Chico; RHP Garrett Mock
Date: Aug. 7, 2006
While Hernandez didn't pitch the D-backs to the postseason in 2006, he did stick around to be a valuable contributor and staff leader the following year when the D-backs won the NL West and swept the Cubs in the NLDS before losing to the Rockies in the NLCS.
Acquired: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto and cash from BOS
Gave up: INF Ivan De Jesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Carl Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa and OF Jerry Sands
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
The word "blockbuster" is overused, but it should be defined by this nine-player trade. Guggenheim's new Dodgers ownership made a credibility statement that the tight-fisted ways of the McCourt era were over. The Dodgers never won a World Series because of it, but the veterans helped the club compete while buying time for young talent to mature. None of the prospects dealt away panned out, but Boston won a World Series anyway and dumped $262 million in salary.
Acquired: RHP Rick Reuschel from PIT
Gave up: RHPs Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin
Date: Aug. 21, 1987
Reuschel stabilized the Giants' starting rotation, going 5-3 down the stretch to help San Francisco win the NL West for the first time since 1971. "Big Daddy" also finished 36-19 in the next two seasons and was the staff ace when the Giants reached the World Series in 1989.
Acquired: SP Mike Clevinger from LAA
Gave up: RP Vinnie Pestano
Date: Aug. 7, 2014
The Angels wanted a reliever for the stretch run, so they added Pestano and dealt Clevinger (a prospect with mechanical flaws and in the early stages of a Tommy John surgery comeback). Clevinger was a project, but he went to work with the Indians, rebuilt his delivery, broke into the Majors in '16 and is now fixture in one of baseball's best rotations. Pestano hasn't pitched in the Majors since '15, and Clevinger has a 3.59 ERA in 67 career appearances for Cleveland (54 starts).
Acquired: LF Vince Coleman from KC
Gave up: RHP Jim Converse
Date: Aug. 15, 1995
The Mariners immediately inserted the veteran speedster as their leadoff hitter for the final month and a half of their magical 1995 season, and he provided a huge spark. When Coleman was acquired by general manager Woody Woodward, Seattle was 51-50 and 12 1/2 games back in the AL West. It wound up winning the division and earning the first playoff berth in franchise history as the 33-year-old posted a .290/.335/.395 line with 16 stolen bases and 27 runs in 40 games.
Acquired: 1B/OF Jeff Conine from BAL
Gave up: RHP Denny Bautista, RHP Don Levinski
Date: Aug. 31, 2003
Pursuing the lone NL Wild Card spot at the time, the Marlins acquired Conine minutes before the midnight waiver deadline, with the deal completed while the veteran was on the Orioles' team plane. The Marlins were desperate for an established veteran the day after All-Star Mike Lowell broke his left hand. Conine hit five home runs and drove in 15 runs in September, and made an impact in the playoffs during the Marlins' World Series championship season.
Acquired: 2B Jeff Kent and a player to be named (OF Ryan Thompson) from TOR
Gave up: RHP David Cone
Date: Aug. 27, 1992
With the Mets well out of NL East contention and Cone set to become a free agent after the season, the team shipped him to the Blue Jays for Kent -- then just 24 years old. Although Kent would not develop into a National League MVP until after the Mets parted ways with him, he hit 67 of his 377 career homers over parts of five seasons in New York. Cone, meanwhile, went on to post a 2.55 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) down the stretch for Toronto, helping the franchise win its first World Series title with a 3.22 ERA in four postseason starts.
Acquired: Catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash considerations from OAK
Gave up: Catcher David Freitas
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
On their way to their first postseason berth in club history, the Nats made the upgrade behind the dish for a veteran behind the plate. Suzuki would go on to bat .267/.321/.404 in 43 games with Washington down the stretch and served as the starting catcher in the postseason before he struggled at the start of the 2013 season and was traded back to Oakland.
Acquired: OF Tito Landrum from STL
Gave up: Landrum was the player to be named from a deal made on June 14, 1983, in which the Orioles sent Floyd Rayford to St. Louis.
Date: Aug. 31, 1983
Landrum hit the game-winning home run for the Orioles in the final game of the 1983 ALCS in Chicago. He was such an unlikely hero that teammate John Lowenstein joked that he was not sure of Landrum's first name.
Acquired: Brian Giles from PIT
Gave up: Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
On the whole, this trade turned out pretty even. But there's no denying Giles' impact on the back-to-back NL West champion Padres teams in 2005 and '06. In parts of seven seasons with San Diego, Giles batted .279/.380/.435 with 83 homers. Bay would go on to have an 11-year MLB career over which he hit 222 homers, including 139 for Pittsburgh. Still, the trade helped San Diego get to the postseason in back-to-back years, and was worth the price.
Acquired: RHP Jamie Moyer from SEA
Gave up: RHP Andrew Baldwin and RHP Andy Barb
Date: Aug. 19, 2006
The Phillies held a fire sale before July 31, 2006, trading Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell and Rheal Cormier, and designating Ryan Franklin for assignment. But afterward, the Phillies started to play well and acquired Moyer for an unexpected postseason run. They fell short in 2006, but Moyer helped the Phillies win the NL East in 2007 and the World Series in 2008.
Acquired: OF Jason Bay, LHP Oliver Perez and LHP Cory Stewart from SD
Gave up: OF Brian Giles
Date: Aug. 26, 2003
The deal worked out well for both sides, as Giles continued to produce in San Diego and finished ninth in NL MVP voting in 2005. But Bay was worth the price, winning the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year Award before earning two All-Star nods with Pittsburgh. Perez was also dominant in 2004 (12-10, 2.98 ERA, 239 strikeouts), and he's still pitching in the Majors as a reliever.
Acquired: RHP John Burkett from FLA
Gave up: RHP Rick Helling and RHP Ryan Dempster
Date: Aug. 8, 1996
This is the trade that put the Rangers over the top on their way to the first division title in franchise history. Burkett, reinforcing the rotation, threw a shutout against the Blue Jays in his first start and his biggest victory came on Sept. 21. The Rangers had lost five in a row and nine of 10 as their lead was down to one game. But Burkett pitched the Rangers to a 7-1 victory over the Angels in Anaheim to stop their skid for one of the biggest regular-season wins in franchise history. Dempster and Helling -- both prospects at the time -- went on to distinguished careers, but the price was worth it for Texas.
Acquired: RHP Chad Bradford from BAL
Gave up: Cash
Date: Aug. 7, 2008
Bradford arrived to give the Rays a different look to their bullpen. The submariner of "Moneyball" fame appeared in 21 games and pitched to a 1.42 ERA. He made seven postseason appearances for the Rays, logging a 1.13 ERA in eight innings.
Acquired: INF Ivan DeJesus, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, and OF/1B Jerry Sands from LAD
Gave up: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto.and cash
Date: Aug. 25, 2012
On paper, the Red Sox gave up three former All-Stars and received little in return. In reality, the club shed more than $250 million in guaranteed salary for players who were no longer performing at their prime levels. This trade is widely credited as one of the reasons for the Sox winning the World Series in 2013. General manager Ben Cherington used the newfound payroll flexibility to re-tool with free agents Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Ryan Dempster and David Ross. Those players fit perfectly on the field and in the clubhouse.
Acquired: 1B/manager Pete Rose from MON
Gave up: INF Tom Lawless
Date: Aug. 16, 1984
In a stunning move, the Reds brought back a hometown favorite in Rose to take on the rare role of player-manager. The deal immediately energized the Cincinnati fan base after losing seasons from 1982-84. Not only did Rose the player break Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in 1985 to great fanfare, Rose the manager was at the helm for a contender that had four straight second-place finishes from 1985-88. That helped create the foundation for the 1990 World Series title season.
Acquired: RHP Jose Contreras from CWS
Gave up: Minor League RHP Brandon Hynick
Date: Aug. 31, 2009
Contreras went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven games, including two starts, and was one of two key veteran August pickups. The Rockies also picked up Jason Giambi, who had been released earlier in the month by the Athletics. Giambi hit .292 in 19 games as he and Contreras helped push the Rockies into the postseason as the NL Wild Card team.
Acquired: OF Josh Willingham from MIN
Gave up: Right-hander Jason Adam
Date: Aug. 11, 2014
It wasn't a blockbuster deal, but Willingham will be forever in Royals lore. He singled (his last big league hit) to spark a ninth-inning rally in the 2014 AL Wild Card game that tied the score. The Royals went on to win the game, the first off 11 straight playoff wins that year, and eventually advance to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
Acquired: OF Delmon Young from MIN
Gave up: LHP Cole Nelson, RHP Lester Oliveros
Date: Aug. 15, 2011
Young homered three times in the Tigers' 2011 ALDS win over the Yankees, then hit two more in the ALCS vs. Texas. A year later, he was named MVP of the ALCS after going 6-for-17 with two homers and six RBIs. He went 5-for-14 with a solo homer in the 2012 World Series against the Giants.
Acquired: RHP Bert Blyleven from CLE
Gave up: INF Jay Bell, LHP Curt Wardle, OF Jim Weaver and a player to be named (RHP Rich Yett on Sept. 18, 1985)
Date: Aug. 1, 1985
The Twins reacquired future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven in an August trade, as he had previously pitched in Minnesota from 1970-76. Blyleven made 120 starts with the Twins after the trade, including helping the franchise to its first World Series title in 1987. Bell went on to a solid 18-year career, but the Twins had Greg Gagne entrenched at shortstop at the time of the trade.
Acquired: 1B Ted Kluszewski from PIT
Gave up: Minor League IF Robert Sagers and RF/1B Harry Simpson
Date: Aug. 25, 1959
Nearing the end of his career, Kluszewski hit .297 with two home runs and 10 RBIs over 112 plate appearances and 31 games in the regular season for the AL champs. But the Big Klu hit .391 with three homers and 10 RBIs during a six-game World Series loss to the Dodgers.
Acquired: 3B Charlie Hayes from PIT
Gave up: RHP Chris Corn
Date: Aug. 30, 1996
Hayes rejoined the Yankees just in time for the birth of a dynasty, batting .284 in 20 games for his new team to supplement a fatigued Wade Boggs' production at the hot corner. Hayes was on the field to secure the final out of the World Series, a foul pop behind third base off the bat of the Braves' Mark Lemke. Corn never advanced past Double-A.