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10 biggest trades in Orioles history

Since the club moved to Baltimore, trades have played an important role in shaping the history of the Orioles. Some have altered the future of the franchise, while others amounted to little. Some hit big, some hurt.

Either way, the years have left a trail of memorable transactions. Here is a look at the 10 most memorable trades in franchise history.

Since the club moved to Baltimore, trades have played an important role in shaping the history of the Orioles. Some have altered the future of the franchise, while others amounted to little. Some hit big, some hurt.

Either way, the years have left a trail of memorable transactions. Here is a look at the 10 most memorable trades in franchise history.

1. A Hall-worthy coup
Orioles got from Reds: OF Frank Robinson
Orioles gave up: RHP Jack Baldschun, RHP Milt Pappas, OF Dick Simpson
Date: Dec. 9, 1965

This was one of the more lopsided trades in baseball history, and certainly in the history of the O's. Pappas was a three-time All-Star at the time, and he pitched eight more seasons after the trade. But Robinson only accelerated his Hall of Fame track once in Baltimore, winning the American League Triple Crown and the AL MVP Award in his first season and earning six more All-Star appearances in all. He went into Cooperstown wearing an Orioles cap.

2. Planting seeds for success
Orioles got from Yankees: C Rick Dempsey, LHP Tippy Martinez, LHP Rudy May, LHP Scott McGregor, RHP Dave Pagan
Orioles gave up: RHP Doyle Alexander, LHP Jimmy Freeman, C Elrod Hendricks, LHP Ken Holtzman, LHP Grant Jackson
Date: June 15, 1976

In what is amazingly just their second-biggest trade made with the Yankees, the Orioles acquired three key cogs for their 1983 championship team in Dempsey, McGregor and Martinez. The trio also helped the O's to an AL pennant in 1979.

3. Calling AJ & Co.
Orioles got from Mariners: OF Adam Jones, LHP George Sherrill, RHP Chris Tillman, RHP Kam Mickolio, LHP Tony Butler
Orioles gave up: LHP Erik Bedard
Date: Feb. 8, 2008

Sensing an opportunity to fuel his planned rebuild, team president Andy MacPhail traded Bedard to Seattle after the 2007 season, when he finished fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting. The oft-injured lefty would make only 46 starts for the Mariners, while the Orioles' return set them up for more than a decade.

The package centered on Jones, who became one of the most popular -- and productive -- players in franchise history. Tillman grew into an All-Star and rotation fixture. Sherrill made an All-Star appearance as well before he was flipped for Josh Bell, who, despite never making much impact at the big league level, was a top prospect at the time.

4. Cuell-er's market
Orioles got from Astros: LHP Mike Cuellar, SS Enzo Hernandez, INF Tom Johnson
Orioles gave up: OF/C Curt Blefary, INF John Mason
Date: Dec. 4, 1968

The 1965 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner, Blefary had regressed into a below-average player by 1968, at which point the Orioles shipped him to Houston. The deal turned out to be a heist. Cuellar posted six straight seasons with at least 18 wins and a sub 3.50 ERA, and he won a share of the AL Cy Young Award in 1969.

5. Whoops
Orioles got from Astros: 1B Glenn Davis
Orioles gave up: RHP Pete Harnisch, RHP Curt Schilling, OF Steve Finley
Date: Jan. 10, 1991

The biggest flop on this list, the O's parted ways with three soon-to-be-impact players for Davis, who played like a shell of his former self over three seasons in Baltimore. Schilling, Harnisch and Finley went on to combine to make nine All-Star appearances, with Schilling building a borderline Hall of Fame career.

6. Sending for Singleton
Orioles got from Expos: OF Ken Singleton, RHP Mike Torrez
Orioles gave up: LHP Dave McNally, OF Rich Coggins, RHP Bill Kirkpatrick
Date: Dec. 4, 1974

McNally was a three-time All-Star and four-time 20-game winner in Baltimore, but he was 32 years old by the time the Orioles sent him to Montreal. McNally would retire after one more campaign, while Singleton hit .284/.388/.445 with 182 home runs across 10 seasons with the O's and made three All-Star teams. He was also a part of their 1983 championship team and the AL MVP runner-up in 1979.

Video: MLB Tonight on Machado heading to the Dodgers

7. Manny time
Orioles got from Dodgers: OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP Zach Pop, INF Breyvic Valera, INF Rylan Bannon
Orioles gave up: SS/3B Manny Machado
Date: July 18, 2018

It'll be years before the Orioles' return can be properly assessed, but this deal earns its spot on this list on the basis of whom Baltimore gave up. With Machado approaching free agency and the Orioles preparing for a rebuild, they finally dealt their homegrown star after rumors teased at their intentions for years. Machado helped the Dodgers toward a World Series appearance before hitting the open market. For the O's, sending Machado out was just the start of a midsummer selloff that spared few veterans.

8. Brady for Boddicker
Orioles got from Red Sox: OF Brady Anderson, Schilling
Orioles gave up: RHP Mike Boddicker
Date: July 29, 1988

Outside of his masterful 1984 campaign, Boddicker was a useful, if merely average, starter for much of his nine years in Baltimore. Swapping him for the then 24-year-old Anderson showed foresight. Anderson, a former 10th-round pick, became a mainstay in center field, hit a franchise-record 50 homers in 1996 and remains employed by the club in a front-office capacity.

This deal only ranks this low because the O's eventually traded Schilling, well before he blossomed into a star.

9. Crush comes to town
Orioles got from Rangers: 1B Chris Davis, RHP Tommy Hunter
Orioles gave up: RHP Koji Uehara
Date: July 30, 2011

Perception of the trade that brought Davis to Baltimore has changed over time. Through one lens, swapping a middle reliever for a two-time home run champion looks like a win. Today, though, Davis' precipitous decline and massive contract make him one of baseball's most infamous albatrosses.

10. The most mega deal of them all
Orioles got from Yankees: C Gus Triandos, OF Gene Woodling, SS Willy Miranda, C Hal Smith, RHP Jim McDonald, RHP Harry Byrd, LHP Bill Miller, INF Kal Segrist, 2B Don Leppert, OF Theodore Del Guercio
Orioles gave up: RHP Don Larsen, RHP Bob Turley, INF Billy Hunter, RHP Mike Blyzka, C Darrell Johnson, OF Jim Fridley, 1B Dick Kryhoski
Date: Nov. 17, 1954

After 1954, the Yankees were desperate to leapfrog back to the top of the AL following a rare second-place finish. The Orioles were just desperate -- they'd finished 57 games out that year, their first in Baltimore after moving from St. Louis.

It is with this as a backdrop that the two clubs pulled off a deal that was unprecedented at the time, and hasn't been replicated since. The 17-player swap still ranks as the biggest trade in MLB history in terms of number of players involved.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.

Baltimore Orioles

These are the best HOF classes in history

The Baseball Writers' Association of America can be a stingy bunch. Though we've seen a major upswing in BBWAA-elected Hall of Famers in recent years, classes with more than two or three members are rare.

In 2013, there was much public bemoaning the fact that the BBWAA had a ballot loaded with what many would consider to be quality candidates and came up with … nobody. Indeed, that has happened a few times in this voting body's long history, and it's a bummer to those of us who like our Hall of Fame to have, well, Hall of Famers.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America can be a stingy bunch. Though we've seen a major upswing in BBWAA-elected Hall of Famers in recent years, classes with more than two or three members are rare.

In 2013, there was much public bemoaning the fact that the BBWAA had a ballot loaded with what many would consider to be quality candidates and came up with … nobody. Indeed, that has happened a few times in this voting body's long history, and it's a bummer to those of us who like our Hall of Fame to have, well, Hall of Famers.

But there are years that help make up for lost time. Let's look back and see which BBWAA-inducted Hall classes had the most star power.

There are a number of ways to evaluate this, but I opted to use the Hall of Fame Career Standards monitor available at Baseball Reference. Basically, a player who scores 50 on the test is considered your "average, run-of-the-mill" Hall of Famer, with 100 as the max (Babe Ruth, by virtue of acquiring both batting and pitching stats of note, breaks this scale with a grand total of 113).

If you add up the total Hall of Fame Career Standards for all players voted in by the BBWAA* in a given year, these were the heftiest Hall hauls.

*This list is strictly limited to the BBWAA entries, not players or managers or executives voted in by committee.

1. 1936: Babe Ruth (113), Christy Mathewson (84), Walter Johnson (82), Ty Cobb (75) and Honus Wagner (75)
429 points

Well, of course the inaugural class would have the most meat on the bone. But this election was actually kind of a mess. There was not an official ballot to work with, just a list of 40 suggested names. Voters had the option of writing in candidates, including -- bizarrely -- active players. Furthermore, there was a simultaneous Veterans Committee vote taking place as a means of recognizing players from the 19th century, but there was nothing stopping a BBWAA member from using one of his 10 slots for such a player.


In the end, these five legends got in via the BBWAA vote, but an additional 35 players who would eventually be inducted into the Hall fell short of the 75-percent mark. There were also seven players who received votes in this election but never got in, including "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Hal Chase, who had been banned from baseball for consorting with gamblers.

Video: Thome reflects on joining Babe Ruth in Cooperstown

2. 1947: Lefty Grove (62), Frankie Frisch (60), Mickey Cochrane (54) and Carl Hubbell (51)
227 points

This was the deluge after a drought. No elections were held in 1940, '41, '43 and '44, and no players had reached the 75-percent mark in '45 and '46 and only one guy -- Rogers Hornsby -- gained entry in '42. Something had to give.

The problem wasn't a lack of candidates but a wealth of them, with no clear consensus on what, exactly, a true Hall of Fame career was. Until 1946, BBWAA members could vote for literally any player -- living or dead, active or retired -- from 1900 on, and the only change in '46 was that a player must have been retired one year to receive votes.

Not only did this chaos create a backlog of deserving candidates, but it almost cost the BBWAA the vote altogether. In 1946, the Hall of Fame Committee voted in 11 popular players from the early 1900s (including, regrettably, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, only because they happened to be lionized in a poem), and there was some thought to stripping the BBWAA of its privilege as the Hall's gatekeeper.

That ultimately didn't happen. But in 1947, the Committee did create a rule that a player may not be on the ballot after 25 years from his retirement, and it also instituted the rule that a person must be in the BBWAA for 10 years before becoming eligible to vote. This reduced the number of ballots cast by a whopping 39 percent and created greater clarity in '47, when only 39 players received votes and these four got in.

3. 2015: Randy Johnson (65), Pedro Martinez (60), Craig Biggio (57) and John Smoltz (44)
226 points

This recent group marked just the third time -- and the first in 60 years -- that a four-man class was inducted. Combined with the three-man class in 2014, this was a welcome change of pace from that aforementioned emptiness of '13.

This 2015 vote was the first in which BBWAA members were required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct before receiving their ballots, and their names (though not their individual votes) were made public at the time of the election announcement.

Maybe that helped create greater accountability, but the bottom line is that the stars who helped rescue the sport after the 1994-95 labor stoppage -- including Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz, who all got in on their first ballot -- were rightly recognized.

Video: Randy Johnson discusses the Hall of Fame celebration

4. 1937: Cy Young (82), Tris Speaker (73) and Nap Lajoie (66)
221 points

Looking to address some flaws from the 1936 process, the Veterans Committee election was scrapped in favor of a smaller Centennial Commission entrusted with choosing inductees from the 19th century. And though active players weren't ruled ineligible, voters were encouraged to lean toward retired candidates. With the procedure tweaked and five guys having graduated from the '36 ballot, the end result was that Lajoie (64.6 percent in '36), Speaker (58.8) and Young (49.1) moved up the ranks and past the 75-percent mark.

In 1936, Young, comically, ended up fourth on the Veterans Committee vote and eighth in the BBWAA vote. Nobody knew to which era he ought to be assigned. This time, that issue was straightened out, and the guy with 511 career wins got in. Viva democracy.

5. 2018: Chipper Jones (70), Vladimir Guerrero (59), Jim Thome (57) and Trevor Hoffman (19)
205 points

Obviously, a four-man class has an inherent advantage toward getting on this list, but the metric we're utilizing doesn't ascribe much value to relievers (even slam-dunk Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, who will be on the ballot next year, gets just 30 points). So Hoffman doesn't add a great deal to this tally. Edgar Martinez (50 points) missed induction by just 20 votes this year, so this could have been a truly monster class. But as it stands, it's still pretty good. In fact, with Morris and Trammell also involved, this marks just the second time since the aforementioned inaugural class of 1936 that six living players are going in at the same time (the other year was 1955, which we'll get to in a minute).

The BBWAA went from electing nobody in 2013 to electing 16 guys over the last five years.

Video: MLB Now discusses the 2018 Hall of Fame class

6. 2014: Greg Maddux (70), Frank Thomas (60) and Tom Glavine (52)
182 points

Were we able to assign bonus points here, this class would get them because of the inclusion of Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre from the Expansion Era Committee vote. The 2014 class was a marked improvement from the previous year, when the only inductees were three dudes who died in the 1930s (player Deacon White, umpire Hank O'Day and executive Jacob Ruppert).

Even without the bonus points, the 2014 class stands as a strong one. All three guys deservedly got in on their first try, and Biggio fell just two votes shy of joining them.

Video: The 1990s Braves acquire Greg Maddux

7. 1955: Joe DiMaggio (58), Gabby Hartnett (48), Dazzy Vance (35) and Ted Lyons (30)
171 points

As you can see from the Vance and Lyons point totals, quantity is what got this class on this list. Vance had an interesting case, not becoming a regular in a rotation until he was 31, winning only 197 games and pitching mostly for bad teams. He spent 16 years on the ballot (or list of suggested players, as it were) and received just 7.3 percent of the vote a decade before his eventual induction. Lyons, who only pitched on Sundays, walked more batters than he struck out and had a 3.67 ERA. He isn't exactly the best the Hall has to offer. But he was another slow-burner, climbing from 1.6 percent in 1945 all the way to 86.5 percent in his induction year.

The main takeaway from 1955 is that there was still a serious backlog going on. DiMaggio finally got in on his third appearance on the ballot, and Hank Greenberg finished 32 votes shy on his eighth ballot. Greenberg was one of 31 eventual Hall of Famers who got votes in this election but didn't get in. The other two inductees this year, via the Veterans Committee, were "Home Run" Frank Baker and Ray Schalk.

For what it's worth, this was the second year in which the five-year waiting period was in place for retired players.

8. 1999: George Brett (61), Nolan Ryan (55) and Robin Yount (52)
168 points

This was one of the more special modern-day classes. Brett, Ryan and Yount were all newly eligible -- the first time the BBWAA inducted more than two first-ballot entries since the inaugural class in 1936. Carlton Fisk came reasonably close to making it four first-timers, as he appeared on 66.4 percent of ballots. He'd wind up getting in the following year.

One factor that worked in the first-timers' favor was the relatively small ballot, on which only 28 players appeared. The Hall had long since begun dropping players who received less than 5 percent of ballots cast and cut off players more than 20 years from retirement.

Video: Yount, Brett on Morris and Trammell's HOF induction

9. and 10. 1939: Eddie Collins (72), Willie Keeler (49) and George Sisler (44); 1991: Gaylord Perry (57), Rod Carew (55) and Fergie Jenkins (53)
165 points (tie)

This might have ranked higher on the list since 1939 was also the year Lou Gehrig (72 points) was inducted, but that was in a special election in December (months after the formal induction of the three players listed above) because of his illness. Gehrig never had a formal induction ceremony.

As far as the "proper" 1939 class was concerned, it combined with the nine BBWAA-elected players from 1936-38 and the various Veterans Committee selections to make for a 25-person Hall when the building opened in the summer of '39 (and leading to that iconic image of the 11 living inductees).

The 1939 class could have been even more loaded, but many voters put their focus on the '00s and '10s, evidently fearing those decades were underrepresented. Players who had been retired more than 20 years received 60 percent of the votes. This explains how an obvious Hall of Famer like Rogers Hornsby (64.2 percent in '39) was unable to get in.

By 1991, it was much more straightforward. Carew appeared on 90.5 percent of ballots as a first-timer, while Perry and Jenkins both got in on their third try. Jim Bunning missed out on his final ballot try but would later get in via the Veterans Committee.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Most shocking free-agent decisions in MLB history

Since the first free-agent signing of the modern era back in 1974, there have been several free-agent deals that shook the baseball world and realigned power across the Majors. Here's a look at several moves that changed the landscape of baseball, and in some cases were downright shocking:

2017-18: Shohei Ohtani signs with Angels
The pursuit of Ohtani, the two-way superstar from Japan who captivated the Majors even before he made his big league debut, was the hottest topic of the offseason. All 30 clubs submitted proposals to Ohtani as to why they would be the ideal fit for the 23-year-old, but the finalists along with the Angels were the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers. The fact that Ohtani chose the Angels, particularly over the neighboring Dodgers, who were coming off a World Series appearance, was shocking to many.

Since the first free-agent signing of the modern era back in 1974, there have been several free-agent deals that shook the baseball world and realigned power across the Majors. Here's a look at several moves that changed the landscape of baseball, and in some cases were downright shocking:

2017-18: Shohei Ohtani signs with Angels
The pursuit of Ohtani, the two-way superstar from Japan who captivated the Majors even before he made his big league debut, was the hottest topic of the offseason. All 30 clubs submitted proposals to Ohtani as to why they would be the ideal fit for the 23-year-old, but the finalists along with the Angels were the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers. The fact that Ohtani chose the Angels, particularly over the neighboring Dodgers, who were coming off a World Series appearance, was shocking to many.

In the end, however, a "family-like atmosphere" and a "comfort level" with the organization is what led Ohtani to choose the Halos, according to general manager Billy Eppler. Ohtani lived up to the hype, and despite missing time due to injury that required Tommy John surgery, he hit .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs in just 367 plate appearances, while also posting a 3.31 ERA and 30 percent strikeout rate on the mound.

2013-14: Robinson Cano signs with Mariners
Cano had been a Yankee for all nine seasons of his career when he signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners in December 2013. Not only was it a blockbuster move because of the sheer amount and length of the deal, but because Cano left the big stage of New York to join a Seattle franchise that hadn't been -- and still hasn't been -- to the postseason since 2001.

For some time, Cano appeared destined to follow in the foosteps of former teammates Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada in spending his entire career with the Yankees. But Seattle's offer reportedly far exceeded New York's in both monetary value and length, prompting Cano to head to the opposite coast. The second baseman slashed .296/.353/.472 with 107 home runs in five seasons with Seattle, and served an 80-game suspension in 2018 after testing positive for a banned substance. He was traded to the Mets following the 2018 season.

2011-12: Albert Pujols signs with Angels
A Cardinal for his entire 11-year Major League career to that point, Pujols inked a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Angels in December 2011, a move that stunned the baseball world after it appeared the Cardinals, among a handful of other teams, were favorites to sign the future Hall-of-Fame slugger. The deal was the second-largest in baseball history in terms of average annual value behind Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees in 2007.

Pujols, the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner and three-time NL Most Valuable Player Award winner while with St. Louis, has been hampered by injuries since joining the Angels, including foot ailments that have required multiple surgeries. Overall, he's hit .260/.315/.453 with 188 homers in his first seven seasons with Los Angeles after slashing .328/.420/.617 with 445 homers in 11 seasons with St. Louis.

Video: Leaving St. Louis was a difficult decision for Pujols

2004-05: Vladimir Guerrero signs with Angels
Guerrero possed every tool one could want from a Major League player -- most especially his light-tower power and a cannon throwing arm from right field -- but he perhaps wasn't as big a star as he should have been while playing for cash-strapped Montreal. The five-year, $70 million deal Guerrero signed with Anaheim changed all that, as the Angels capped an offseason that also saw them add Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar and Jose Guillen by inking the biggest free agent on the market.

While the Angels were ultimately unable to add to their 2002 World Series title with Guerrero in tow, their star acquisition did just about everything else. The slugger hit .337, belted 39 homers and drove in 126 runs to capture the American League MVP in his L.A. debut and finished his six-year West Coast tenure with four All-Star selections and 137 dingers. In 2018, Guerrero became the first Hall of Fame player to don an Angels cap on his official plaque in Cooperstown. 

2004-05: Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez sign with Mets
Martinez had accomplished just about everything he could in Boston, putting together two of the greatest pitching seasons in history in 1999 and 2000 before helping the Red Sox capture their first World Series title in 86 years in '04. Omar Minaya had begun his tenure as the Mets' general manager just weeks before he took advantage of rocky negotations between Martinez and the Red Sox, swooping in to sign the future Hall of Famer to a four-year, $51.5 million deal that sent shockwaves through the sport. 

"We were willing to go the extra year and until then the Red Sox weren't,'' Minaya later recounted. "When they did, it was too late."

Martinez showed he had plenty left in the tank, going 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA in his first season in Queens before injuries began to set in. The righty made just 48 starts over the final three years of his contract with New York before moving on to his final season with the Phillies. 

Beltran, meanwhile, was coming off one of the greatest postseason performances of all time for the Astros when he signed a seven-year, $119 million deal with the Mets in January 2005. The Royals traded Beltran to the Astros in June 2004 as part of a three-team deal, and he went on to hit .435 with three doubles and eight homers between the NL Division Series and NL Championship Series as Houston fell a game short of reaching the World Series. The New York Times reported that it was the Martinez deal that helped convince Beltran to join the Mets.

In his seven seasons with New York, Beltran hit .280/.369/.500 with 149 home runs. In 2011, he was traded to the Giants in the deal that sent Zack Wheeler to New York. Beltran then played two seasons with the Cardinals, two-plus seasons with the Yankees and a season with the Rangers before returning to Houston to help the Astros win the World Series in 2017.

2003-04: Ivan Rodriguez signs with Tigers
Coming off a season in which he helped the upstart Marlins defeat the Yankees in the World Series, Rodriguez was a free agent catcher entering his age-32 season with back issues. That caused him to remain on the market through the holidays that offseason, but the Tigers made a surprising four-year, $40 million offer to the 10-time All-Star. The signing turned out to be the beginning of a rejuvenation for the club, serving as a catalyst for other moves that would follow to take the franchise from a 119-loss season in 2003, to the World Series by 2006.

Rodriguez never went on the disabled list during his five-year run with Detroit, hitting .298/.328/.449 and being named an AL All-Star four straight seasons from 2004-07.

Video: DET@KC: Pudge collects five hits against Royals

2000-01: Alex Rodriguez signs with Rangers
Rodriguez landed the largest contract in sports history -- doubling the size of NBA star Kevin Garnett's deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves -- when he signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers in January 2001. At age 25, Rodriguez was the brightest young star in the game, having hit .309/.374/.561 with 189 home runs and 133 steals in five full seasons with the Mariners.

Rodriguez put up big numbers, as expected, with Texas, slashing .305/.395/.615 with 156 homers in three seasons before the Rangers traded him to the Yankees. Following the 2007 season, Rodriguez opted out of the final three years on his contract, and later re-signed with the Yankees on a new record 10-year, $275 million contract. In a 22-year career, Rodriguez finished with 696 home runs and a .930 OPS. He was a three-time AL MVP Award winner and a 14-time All-Star.

Video: TEX@CWS: A-Rod hits his 200th career home run

2000-01: Manny Ramirez signs with Red Sox
In a truly franchise-altering move, Boston signed Ramirez to an eight-year, $160 million contract in December 2000. It came as a surprise in many quarters that Ramirez would leave his comfort zone in Cleveland, where he established himself as a slugging star over the first eight seasons of his career. While the Indians' offer to re-sign him was a strong one, Boston won out, and within four years, Ramirez would join with David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez, among other later signings to bring the city its first World Series title since 1918.

Ramirez was the MVP of the 2004 World Series, in which the Red Sox swept the Cardinals. Overall, in eight years with Boston, he hit .312/.411/.588 with 274 home runs. He also helped the 2007 club win the World Series with a sweep of the Rockies.

Video: Manny talks about his time with the Red Sox

1998-99: Randy Johnson signs with D-backs
The D-backs were fresh off their inaugural season, in which they lost 97 games, when they signed a 35-year-old Johnson to a four-year, $52 million contract. The move was considered curious by many, given that Arizona was an expansion franchise and Johnson would be under contract through the age of 38. But the skepticism proved to be wrong when Johnson went on to win four consecutive NL Cy Young Awards and helped lead Arizona to the 2001 World Series title in seven games over the Yankees.

Johnson was named co-MVP along with Curt Schilling for the World Series, coming on in relief during Game 7 after having started Game 6, and tossing 1 1/3 scoreless frames before the D-backs won on a Luis Gonzalez walk-off single off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning. In all, the Big Unit spent six seasons with Arizona in his first stint with the club (he would return for two more seasons from 2007-08), posting a 2.65 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Video: ARI@SEA: Big Unit tosses shutout against former team

1998-99: Kevin Brown signs with Dodgers 
Brown made history in December 1998 when he signed a seven-year deal that made him the first $100 million player in baseball history. The right-hander was entering his age-34 season, but he was also coming off a stellar season with the Padres in which he went 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA and helped San Diego capture its second pennant in franchise history.

The deal was not popular among rival executives who were less eager to begin handing out nine-figure deals -- especially to a pitcher -- but the Dodgers defended the move by pointing to the huge contracts handed out to players like Mike Piazza and Mo Vaughn that set the escalating precedent. 

"We're getting criticized because we were the most recent ones," argued then-Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone. "The fact of the matter is that we're just falling in line with what our competitors have done."

Brown had some high points during his Dodgers tenure, including 18 wins in his debut season and an ERA title in 2000, but injuries prevented him from fulfilling the full value of his record deal. Los Angeles traded Brown to the Yankees in December 2003, but he continued to struggle to stay on the field on a full-time basis before ultimately retiring in '06. 

Video: Brian Kenny pleads case for Albert Belle to the HOF

1996-97: Albert Belle signs with White Sox 
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf flexed his financial muscles by inking Belle to a record five-year, $55 million contract in a move that pulled the slugger away from the Indians, Chicago's AL Central rival. Belle's prior two seasons in Cleveland were something to behold: A 52-double, 50-homer combo in 1995 followed by 148 RBIs in '96 that established the left fielder as one of the game's premier sluggers.

Belle continued to slug in the South Side, nearly replicating his 50-50 feat again in '98 when he hit 48 doubles and 49 homers, before he invoked an unusual clause in his contract that allowed him to demand that he remained one of the three highest-paid players in baseball. The White Sox declined Belle's demand, instead letting him leave via free agency, through which he signed another megadeal with the Orioles. 

1994-95: Larry Walker signs with Rockies
The 1994 players' strike forced the Expos to cut payroll, meaning Montreal had to say goodbye to its talented right fielder. The Rockies swooped in and signed Walker to a four-year, $22.5 million deal shortly after the work stoppage concluded, and their new acquisition took full advantage of the halcyon hitters' environment of pre-humidor Coors Field. Walker's OPS would sit above .900 in all but one of his nine full seasons in Denver as he made four All-Star teams and captured the '97 NL MVP. 

1992-93: Greg Maddux signs with Braves
Maddux was the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner in the winter of 1992, a free agent after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Cubs. It was expected that the Yankees would land the right-hander, but in a surprise twist, it was Atlanta that inked Maddux to a five-year, $28 million contract on Dec. 9 during the Winter Meetings. While the contract was for less than what New York was offering, Maddux wanted to join what would become one of the greatest starting rotations in baseball history with Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery.

Maddux would go on to become the best starting pitcher of the 1990s, and indeed one of the best in baseball history. The Hall of Famer won three consecutive NL Cy Young Awards from 1993-95 for Atlanta, making it four straight overall. He helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series over the powerhouse Indians for the franchise's first championship in Atlanta. Maddux also won 10 consecutive NL Gold Glove Awards with the Braves, and in 11 seasons had a 2.63 ERA.

Video: The 1990s Braves acquire Greg Maddux

1992-93: Barry Bonds signs with Giants
In a move that was more monumental than surprising, Bonds left the Pirates and joined the team his father, Bobby, had starred with from 1968-74. Bonds' godfather is Giants legend Willie Mays, and Bonds grew up in the Bay Area while his father played for San Francisco. The Giants were nearly sold and moved to Florida following the 1992 season, but a new ownership group purchased the team and kept it in San Francisco, giving it a jump-start by landing Bonds -- a two-time NL MVP Award winner -- with a six-year, $43.75 million contract.

The Bonds signing was a catalyst in vaulting the Giants to a 103-win season in 1993, and eventually four postseason appearances over the next decade. Bonds would win five more NL MVP Awards and hit 586 of his all-time record 762 home runs in 15 seasons with San Francisco. He was named to 12 All-Star teams over that span, and won six of his eight career NL Gold Glove Awards. During his tenure with the Giants, the franchise built a new waterfront ballpark and came within one victory of winning the World Series in 2002.

Video: FLA@SF: Bonds homers in his debut at Candlestick

1991-92: Bobby Bonilla signs with Mets 
Mets general manager Al Harazin characterized his club's back-to-back acquisitions of Eddie Murray and Bonilla as a "staggering parlay" when Bonilla inked his five-year, $29 million deal, and the contract still has lasting implications today. Bonilla's $5.8 million average annual salary made him the highest-paid athlete in North American professional team sports, edging him ahead of Knicks center Patrick Ewing.

Bonilla made two All-Star teams with the Mets, but ultimately couldn't reach his 1991 zenith, when he finished third in NL MVP voting after pacing the league with 44 doubles and helping the Pirates reach Game 7 of the NLCS. In 2000, the Mets opted for deferred payments that began in 2011 instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million he was owed that season. That means Bonilla receives a paycheck worth nearly $1.2 million every July through the year 2035. 

1980-81: Dave Winfield signs with Yankees
In what was at the time the richest contract in sports history, Winfield signed with the Yankees for 10 years and $23 million in December 1980. The big slugger had spent his entire eight-year career to that point with the Padres, having hit 154 homers while stealing 133 bases for San Diego. Winfield hit 205 home runs with an identical 134 OPS+ in nine seasons with New York before the Yankees traded him to the Angels in 1990. Despite his productivity, along with other stars such as Don Mattingly during the decade, the Yankees never made the postseason during Winfield's time with the club after an appearance in the 1981 World Series.

1979-80: Nolan Ryan signs with Astros
Ryan began his career with the Mets and made a name for himself with the Angels, but he returned to his home state by signing a four-year, $4.5 million contract with the Astros, just 25 miles north of his hometown of Alvin, Texas, in November 1979. With the contract, he became the first player in MLB history to earn more than $1 million in a single season. In nine seasons with Houston, Ryan compiled 1,866 strikeouts with a 3.13 ERA, setting an MLB record by tossing his fifth career no-hitter on Sept. 26, 1981 vs. the Dodgers. Ryan also anchored the starting rotations of the franchise's first two postseason clubs in 1980 and '86.

Ryan would go on to play five more seasons with the Rangers after his tenure in Houston, and finished his career with seven no-hitters and a record 5,714 strikeouts. Though he played for four different teams in his 27-year career, Ryan's contract with the Astros paved the way for lucrative deals for future free agents after he broke the $1 million per year barrier in 1979.

Video: LAD@HOU: Ryan tosses fifth career no-hitter

1978-79: Pete Rose signs with Phillies 
Philadelphia couldn't get past the NL Championship Series in three consecutive years from 1976-78, so the club entered into a competitive field for Rose with hopes of adding a fiery leader. The all-time hit leader received plenty of tempting offers -- including incentives such as a stake in Royals owner Ewing Kauffman's oil investments and the Braves' offer of a $100,000-per-year pension for life -- but Rose ultimately chose the Phillies thanks to their already-competitive roster. 

"They were the closest team to get where I wanted to be at that stage of my life," Rose later recounted, "and that was the World Series."

Rose's four-year, $3.24 million contract made him the highest-paid player in the game, and he helped lead the Phillies to their first World Series title in 1980, followed by another NL pennant in '83. 

1976-77: Reggie Jackson signs with Yankees
The Yankees won 97 games in 1976, but they were also swept by Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" in that year's World Series. So, shortly after Thanksgiving, they added one more superstar in Jackson -- the '73 AL MVP who had already contributed to three World Series championship clubs in Oakland before clubbing 27 homers for the Orioles in '76 -- to help them get over the hump. Jackson's five-year, $3 million deal with New York ushered in one of the wildest periods in Yankees history, but ultimately a successful one, too. Jackson memorably homered in three straight at-bats in Game 6 of the following year's World Series to become a Bronx legend, and the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in back-to-back Fall Classics. 

Video: Reggie Jackson relives his 3-homer night

1974-75: Catfish Hunter signs with Yankees
Following a dispute with Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley in 1974, an arbitrator ruled Hunter to be a free agent, the first such designation of a Major League Baseball player in more than a century. Hunter ultimately signed a landmark five-year, $3.75 million deal (with a $1 million signing bonus) with the Yankees on New Year's Eve, opening the door for what would become MLB free agency over the decades that would follow.

Hunter helped the Yankees restore their fortunes as baseball's best club, reaching the World Series each year from 1976-78, and winning back-to-back titles in '77 and '78. The Hall of Famer finished out his 15-year career with the Yankees, posting a 3.58 ERA over five seasons for New York.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Who were highest-paid players through history?

From Rose to A-Rod, these stars were once the game's richest

It's the question that's dominated baseball headlines since the last out of the 2018 World Series: Where will free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign, and for how much?

The second part of that question has been much anticipated, particularly with rumors of the first $400 million contract swirling around Harper and his agent Scott Boras for years now.

It's the question that's dominated baseball headlines since the last out of the 2018 World Series: Where will free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign, and for how much?

The second part of that question has been much anticipated, particularly with rumors of the first $400 million contract swirling around Harper and his agent Scott Boras for years now.

That would be a record total, of course, far surpassing any free-agent deal and even the 13-year, $325 million extension that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in November 2014. Most baseball fans are aware that Alex Rodriguez currently holds the free-agent contract record -- two times over -- but who held the record before him? Below is a list of the "standard bearers" in that department dating back to the very beginning of MLB free agency in December 1975, when arbitrator Peter Seitz nullified baseball's reserve clause and ushered in a whole new era in the sport's history.

Note: This list considers free-agent contracts only, and not contract extensions. It is also ranked by the total amount of the contract and not average annual value (AAV), another popular method of ranking contracts. This list also excludes Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter, who was made a free agent and signed with the Yankees in December 1974 -- a year before the official dawn of free agency -- when his contract with the A's was voided following a salary dispute.

2008: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- 10 years, $275 million
The biggest free-agent contract in MLB history was signed a decade ago, when A-Rod negotiated a new deal with the Yankees before the 2008 season. His $275 million contract broke the record that had been held by… A-Rod, under his previous contract, originally signed with the Rangers at the beginning of 2001.

Video: A-Rod clubs six homers during the 2009 postseason

That Rangers contract had carried over to New York when Rodriguez was traded to the Bronx Bombers in 2004. But Rodriguez controversially opted out of the final three years -- during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series -- before ultimately re-signing with the Yankees in December. Rodriguez would say that, "All along, I knew I wanted to be a Yankee."

2001: Alex Rodriguez, Rangers -- 10 years, $252 million
When A-Rod signed the first of his two multi-hundred-million contracts, it was the largest contract awarded in professional sports history, doubling Kevin Garnett's $126 million deal signed with the Timberwolves in the NBA in 1997. The blockbuster signing brought Rodriguez from Seattle to Texas at age 25, after he emerged as a superstar shortstop with the Mariners.

Even though the Rangers would go on to trade Rodriguez to the Yankees after three seasons, Rodriguez played up to his historic contract. He capped his tenure in Texas by winning the American League MVP Award in 2003, and averaged 52 home runs and 132 RBIs in a Rangers uniform, leading the American League in homers every year.

Video: Rockies sign Hampton at 2001 Winter Meetings

2000: Mike Hampton, Rockies -- 8 years, $121 million
Hampton held the record for only a short time, as A-Rod finalized his contract with the Rangers just weeks later. But for that brief window, Hampton had the largest MLB contract, topping the $116.5 million contract extension Ken Griffey Jr. had signed with the Reds a year earlier and the $105 million free-agent contract another pitcher, Kevin Brown, had signed with the Dodgers the year before that. Of course, Hampton's contract is considered one of the worst in free-agent history -- he lasted just two years with the Rockies, with a 5.75 ERA, before he was traded in November 2002.

1999: Kevin Brown, Dodgers -- 7 years, $105 million
Brown was baseball's first $100 million man. After winning a World Series ring with the shock-the-world Marlins in 1997, then helping the Padres reach the '98 Fall Classic after he was traded to San Diego in the Marlins' post-championship selloff, Brown got his megadeal from the Dodgers that December. Brown's deal eclipsed several other big contracts handed out that offseason -- Mike Piazza's $91 million deal to stay with the Mets (Piazza was eligible for free agency but didn't file), Bernie Williams' $87.5 million free-agent contract with the Yankees and Mo Vaughn's $80 million free-agent deal with the Angels. Brown joined the Dodgers entering his age-34 season and went on to have several productive seasons in Los Angeles.

1999: Bernie Williams -- 7 years, $87.5 million
A fan favorite and key member of the late-1990s Yankees dynasty, Williams almost didn't re-sign with the Bronx Bombers after their historic 1998 season. He wanted a seven-year contract, but the Yankees were only offering five. They almost even lost Williams to the rival Red Sox. But after the Orioles made a $65 million offer to Albert Belle, the Bronx Bombers didn't want to lose out on both outfielders, and George Steinbrenner quickly upped his offer to what Williams was looking for. Bernie stayed in New York and played out his entire career in pinstripes.

Video: CWS@TEX: Belle's 16th homer in month of July

1996: Albert Belle, White Sox -- 5 years, $55 million
The baseball world was incensed when the White Sox offered Belle significantly more money than any other club was willing to offer, but that wasn't team owner Jerry Reinsdorf's concern. The South Siders had just seen Belle torment their club with the Indians, cresting with the first (and still only) 50-double, 50-homer season in 1995 and then 48 homers and 148 RBIs the following season.

"It is perfectly fiscally responsible for us to give [Belle] this money," said Reinsdorf. "We have to compete under the system that exists. We have an obligation to our fans to try to win."

Chicago didn't get any closer to a title, but Belle continued to slug on the South Side, nearly replicating his 50-50 feat again in '98 when he hit 48 doubles and 49 homers and drove in 152 runs. But his White Sox tenure ended early thanks to a rare clause in Belle's contract that allowed him to demand that he remain one of the three highest-paid players in each year of the deal. When Belle invoked the clause after that stellar '98 season, the White Sox declined to comply and let him sign with the Orioles in free agency. Just like that, Belle was gone from Chicago.

1992: Barry Bonds, Giants -- 6 years, $43.75 million
"The best should be paid the best," agent Dennis Gilbert said of his client Bonds, and he delivered with a contract worthy of a player coming off two NL MVP Awards in the span of three years. Bonds' total sum shattered baseball's previous high mark of Cal Ripken Jr.'s $32.5 million extension with the Orioles, and his contract brought him back to the city where his father, Bobby, became a star two decades prior.

Video: SF@COL: Bonds hits career homer No. 762

"This agreement will make Barry Bonds the best-paid player in the game," said Giants owner Peter Magowan. "It is a lot of money, but there is only one Barry Bonds."

That statement would prove prescient, as Bonds went on to win five more MVPs, set the all-time home run record and finish with one of the greatest statistical careers in baseball history.

1991: Bobby Bonilla, Mets -- 5 years, $29 million
The Mets signed Eddie Murray and Bonilla in back-to-back weeks, breaking their prior frugal habits with a deal that made Bonilla the highest-paid athlete in North American professional team sports, edging out Knicks center Patrick Ewing by average annual salary. The first baseman made two All-Star teams with the Mets, but ultimately couldn't reach his 1991 zenith, when he finished third in NL MVP voting after pacing the league with 44 doubles and helping the Pirates reach Game 7 of the NLCS.

In 2000, the Mets opted for deferred payments that began in 2011 instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million he was owed that season. That means Bonilla receives a paycheck worth nearly $1.2 million every July through the year 2035.

Video: NYY@CLE: Winfield goes deep, admires his homer

1980: Dave Winfield, Yankees -- 10 years and roughly $23 million
It's actually hard to pin down just how much Winfield and Steinbrenner settled on, as the two sides had to be brought back to the negotiating table after there was confusion over the original terms. That was the start of a rocky relationship between the star slugger and owner, as Steinbrenner routinely voiced his displeasure with Winfield's play and was ultimately suspended from baseball after he hired gambler Howard Spira to track down unfavorable details about Winfield.

Through it all, the ultra-athletic Winfield proved to be one of the best hitters of the 1980s, finishing with 205 homers, 818 RBIs and a 134 league-adjusted OPS+ over his nine-year tenure in the Bronx.

1979: Nolan Ryan, Astros -- 4 years, $4.5 million
The Ryan Express became baseball's first million-per-year man with this deal, which brought him to within an hour's drive of his hometown of Alvin, Texas. Ironically, Ryan told the press early in his career that he would buy his own bus ticket to Houston if it meant he could pitch for the Astros.

Video: HOU@MON: Ryan sets Major League strikeout record

Ryan's addition formed a superb rotation in Houston including J.R. Richard, Joe Niekro and eventually Don Sutton, and while the Astros never made the World Series with the local fireballer, he did enjoy plenty of personal highlights. The righty tossed his record fifth career no-hitter on Sept. 26, 1981, and racked up 1,866 strikeouts and compiled a 3.13 ERA while wearing Houston's colorful uniform.

1978: Pete Rose, Phillies -- 4 years, $3.2 million
The hit king received all kinds of offers when he made his first foray into free agency: Oil investments from Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, a $100,000-per-year pension plan for life from the Braves, a Budweiser beer distributorship from the Cardinals and two brood mares from the Pirates. The Phillies' initial offer of three years and $2.1 million was actually the lowest offer Rose received, but former club president Bill Giles convinced a local TV station to contribute $600,000 to the cause.

Rose liked how close the Phillies were to a title, having bowed out in the NLCS in each of the previous three seasons. With Rose in tow at first base, Philadelphia would finally capture its first-ever World Series title in the fall of 1980.

David Adler is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

10 of MLB's biggest player-team reunions

It's always nice to see a homecoming for a franchise icon, and through MLB history, plenty of players have returned to the teams where they became stars. is taking a look back at these reunions, highlighting some of the most prominent players who were, in fact, able to go home again.

It's always nice to see a homecoming for a franchise icon, and through MLB history, plenty of players have returned to the teams where they became stars. is taking a look back at these reunions, highlighting some of the most prominent players who were, in fact, able to go home again.

Only players who returned to an old team for the final stage of their careers are included here. There are others who, after their homecomings, went on to play for other teams. Those players -- Rickey Henderson with the A's, Greg Maddux with the Cubs, Tim Raines with the Expos, Tom Seaver with the Mets, Jim Thome with the Indians and Phillies and many more -- aren't included.

Here are 10 of MLB's most memorable player-team reunions.

Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
First stint: 2001-12 | Returned: 2018
Ichiro's career might not be quite over -- he'll be on the Mariners' roster when they open the 2019 season against the A's in Japan -- but this is likely the final stop for the future Hall of Famer, and it's back where it all began. Ichiro was a Mariners fan favorite from the start. He burst onto the Major League scene in 2001 by winning both MVP and Rookie of the Year honors, and became a franchise icon over the next decade, making 10 straight All-Star teams, winning 10 straight Gold Gloves and two batting titles, and leading the Majors in hits seven times -- including setting the MLB single-season record with 262 in 2004. He was traded to the Yankees in 2012, but after six years away from Seattle, he returned in 2018.

Video: CLE@SEA: Ichiro received warmly in Mariners return

Barry Zito, Athletics
First stint: 2000-06 | Returned: 2015
Zito was the 2002 AL Cy Young winner and a three-time All-Star in Oakland from 2000-06, and he helped lead the A's to five playoff appearances in those first seven big league seasons. The left-hander crossed the Bay to the Giants in a blockbuster free-agent signing in December 2006, but never quite recaptured his A's dominance in San Francisco. After seven years with the Giants, and a year out of baseball in 2014, Zito returned to Oakland in 2015 and made his final three big league appearances in September. That included a start against the Giants and former teammate Tim Hudson, in honor of the A's Big Three of the early 2000s -- Zito, Hudson and Mark Mulder, who was in attendance for the game.

Video: SF@OAK: Former teammates Hudson and Zito square off

Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners
First stint: 1989-99 | Returned: 2009
The Kid is both a Mariners and MLB legend, and his career came full circle with Seattle. With his iconic left-handed swing, Griffey slugged his way to four AL home run crowns and the 1997 MVP Award over his first 11 big league seasons with the M's. After leaving for the Reds at the turn of the millennium, Griffey returned to the Mariners at the tail end of his career in 2009. In his first game back with Seattle in nearly a decade, Griffey homered. Just over a week later, on April 15, he hit his 400th home run in a Mariners uniform. Griffey retired the next year, ending a 630-home-run Hall of Fame career.

Video: LAA@SEA: Griffey cranks his 400th homer as a Mariner

Tom Glavine, Braves
First stint: 1987-2002 | Returned: 2008
Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz formed the nucleus of maybe the best starting rotation of all time, with the Hall of Fame trio leading the Braves teams that dominated the NL East from the 1990s through the early 2000s, when Atlanta won 14 straight division titles. Glavine spent his first 16 seasons in Atlanta, winning two Cy Young Awards (1991 and '98) and finishing in the Top 3 four other times. He left to sign with the Mets entering the 2003 season, but came back to the Braves for one last go-round at age 42 in 2008. The left-hander's 305th and final win came in an Atlanta uniform on May 20 of that season.

Video: CHC@ATL: Glavine records final career strikeout

Roger Clemens, Yankees
First stint: 1999-2003 | Returned: 2007
The Rocket's final big league season came with plenty of fanfare: Clemens announced his return via a news bulletin and public announcement during a May 2007 game at Yankee Stadium. His prorated one-year, $28 million contract made plenty more headlines in the following days, and Clemens' return was fully embraced by New York fans, with the Yankees trailing the rival Red Sox in the AL East. The 44-year-old made his much-anticipated debut in early June, holding the Pirates to three runs over six innings while striking out seven. But the rest of Clemens' season lacked the luster Yankees fans had come to expect (he finished 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA), as Boston won the World Series for the second time in four years.

Video: MIN@NYY: Roger Clemens gets his 350th win

Dennis Eckersley, Red Sox
First stint: 1978-84 | Returned: 1998
Eckersley cemented his Hall of Fame status in Oakland, but he came into his own as a Red Sox starter, most notably in 1978 when he led Boston with 20 wins and a 2.99 ERA during the club's famous pennant race with the Yankees. Eck appeared as a starter in all 191 appearances during his first Boston tenure, but was a full-time reliever by the time he signed with the Red Sox as a 43-year old in the winter of 1997. The right-hander chipped in 50 relief appearances as the Red Sox captured the AL Wild Card with a 92-70 record, and he even got one last save on May 15.

Video: KC@BOS: Eckersley records final save of his career

Gary Carter, Expos
First stint: 1974-84 | Returned: 1992
Few players, if any, were more beloved in Montreal than Carter, and his trade to the Mets in December 1984 arguably turned the tide of both franchises for the rest of the decade. Carter finished his first Expos tenure with seven All-Star Game nods, three Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers before helping the Mets capture the '86 World Series, but after brief stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the catcher returned to Montreal in 1992 for a final victory lap at age 38. Carter's new teammates still jokingly referred to him as "The Kid," and perhaps his presence galvanized the Expos as they improved by 16 wins from the previous year.

Don Sutton, Dodgers
First stint: 1966-80 | Returned: 1988
Sutton was a workhorse frontline starter for 15 years in Los Angeles, bridging the gap from Sandy Koufax's last season in 1966 to the doorstep of "Fernandomania" in '81. He moved on to form a stacked rotation with Nolan Ryan and Joe Niekro with Houston and then pitched for the Brewers, A's and Angels before winding his way back to Chavez Ravine for one final season in 1988. Then 43, Sutton started 16 games and compiled a 3.92 ERA before the Dodgers released him in early August -- though he still joined the team's World Series celebration at the White House that winter.

Reggie Jackson, Athletics
First stint: 1968-75 | Returned: 1987
The A's drafted Jackson with the second overall pick in just the second MLB Draft in 1966, and he moved with the franchise from Kansas City to Oakland as the A's ascended from cellar-dweller to perennial powerhouse. The slugger powered Oakland's dynastic World Series three-peat clubs from 1972-74, claiming the Series MVP honor in '73, and finished his first A's tenure with 254 home runs before building his "Mr. October" persona in the Bronx. At age 41, Jackson returned to the Bay Area in '87 and hit 15 homers for Oakland to finish with 563 -- good for sixth on the all-time career list when he hung up his spikes. He singled in his final Major League at-bat on Oct. 4.

Video: OAK@CWS: Reggie Jackson single in final at-bat

Minnie Minoso, White Sox
First stint: 1951-57 | Returned: 1960, '64, '76, '80
Minoso made history as one of the first Cuban players in the Major Leagues and one of the first Latin Americans to play in an All-Star Game. A versatile outfielder and third baseman, Minoso led the AL multiple times in triples and stolen bases while routinely hitting over .300 in his first tenure with the White Sox from 1951-57, then returned to the South Side multiple times during the latter half of his career. But Minoso's most memorable reunions with the White Sox came in 1976 and '80, when he came out of retirement at ages 50 and 54, respectively, to become one of the oldest Major Leaguers to ever take the field. Because his career began in 1949, Minoso, incredibly, played in five different decades.

Video: CAL@CWS: Minoso singles for final hit of MLB career

Most stunning offseason trades in MLB history

Every Hot Stove season comes with the potential of blockbuster deals, whether by free agency or trade. But there have been some offseason trades throughout baseball history that have particularly stunned us, catching us by surprise and creating exciting storylines for the upcoming season.

Here's a look at 11 of the most stunning offseason trades in MLB history.

Every Hot Stove season comes with the potential of blockbuster deals, whether by free agency or trade. But there have been some offseason trades throughout baseball history that have particularly stunned us, catching us by surprise and creating exciting storylines for the upcoming season.

Here's a look at 11 of the most stunning offseason trades in MLB history.

Dec. 21, 2018: Dodgers trade Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and $7 million to Reds for Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs
In a blockbuster move with ramifications far beyond the players involved, the Dodgers unloaded multiple star players, sparking speculation that Los Angeles may be clearing payroll and outfield space to make a run at superstar free agent Bryce Harper. The Dodgers could also use the payroll space to sign another free agent, or the prospects received in the deal to trade for Miami's star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Reds, meanwhile, bolstered an already scary lineup that features perennial National League Most Valuable Player candidate Joey Votto, as well as sluggers Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler. Puig will be entering his final season before free agency, and will have the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park to call home. Kemp will likewise benefit from his new home ballpark, especially after having a strong 2018 campaign, hitting .290/.338/.481 with 21 home runs for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers immediately released Bailey after acquiring him, making him a free agent. The 32-year-old right-hander has posted a 6.25 ERA in 38 starts since returning from Tommy John surgery and subsequent removal of bone chips from his pitching elbow. Downs, a middle infielder, was Cincinnati's No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Gray, a right-handed pitcher, was the organiztion's No. 20 prospect.

The aftermath of the deal will be very intriguing to follow, as the Dodgers may have vaulted themselves into frontrunner status to land Harper, the 26-year-old outfielder who is expected to command a contract between $300 and $400 million. The trade with the Reds may also signal Los Angeles is intending to load up its already star-studded lineup as the club seeks to win its first World Series title in 31 years, losing in the Fall Classic in both '17 and '18.

Dec. 3, 2018: Mets trade Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista, Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic to Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz
The Mariners decided to rebuild after an 89-win season, as general manager Jerry Dipoto determined his roster was not strong enough to compete with American League powerhouses including the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros. Meanwhile, new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen sought impact additions as he inherited a club coming off a disappointing 77-win campaign. 

At the center of it all was Cano's massive contract, in which he was still owed $120 million over the remaining half of the 10-year deal he originally signed with Seattle prior to 2014. Cano was also coming off an 80-game suspension after he tested positive for a banned substance, further complicating his future in Seattle. Looking to clear up payroll space for his retooling efforts, Dipoto packaged Cano and Diaz -- the closer coming off a franchise-record 57-save season -- to New York in a deal that netted him both salary relief and a pair of top prospects in the right-hander Dunn and the outfielder Kelenic. 

Video: Mets acquire Cano, Diaz in 7-player trade

Dec. 9, 2015: D-backs trade Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair to Braves for Shelby Miller
Miller was an All-Star with the Braves in 2015, as the 24-year-old right-hander posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts and looked to have a bright future ahead of him. But the D-backs made an overwhelming offer, sending Swanson -- the first overall pick in the '15 Draft -- along with speedy center fielder Inciarte and right-hander Blair to Atlanta.

"We wanted to make it painful for [the D-backs] with players that we got back," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said at the time. "They are players that we think are going to be a big part of our future."

Video: D-backs get Miller from Braves in blockbuster deal

Swanson was the No. 10 prospect in baseball at the time, according to MLB Pipeline. Inciarte was coming off a solid second year in the Majors, hitting .303/.338/.408 with 21 steals for Arizona, while playing a stellar center field with 29 defensive runs saved. Both played key roles in helping the Braves win the National League East last season.

Meanwhile, Miller has been beset with injuries since being traded to Arizona, and when he has been on the mound, he's struggled. In 29 appearances (28 starts) over three seasons with the D-backs, he has a 6.35 ERA. He's only made nine starts since '16.

Nov. 20, 2013: Tigers trade Prince Fielder to Rangers for Ian Kinsler
This deal was a stunner because Fielder, at age 29, had missed just one game in five years, and in two seasons with the Tigers had slashed .295/.387/.491 with 55 home runs. Nevertheless, Detroit dealt him to Texas in what proved to be a good move; Fielder would only have one more full season remaining in his career, with chronic neck injuries leading to his retirement at age 32.

Kinsler was an All-Star in his first season with Detroit, and was productive in his first three years as a Tiger, combining to hit .286/.332/.443 with 56 homers and 39 steals. He missed some time in 2017 due to a hamstring injury, and hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 homers in 139 games. He was traded to the Angels prior to the '18 season, and was traded to the Red Sox last July.

Video: Jason Beck on reaction to the Prince Fielder trade

Nov. 19, 2012: Marlins trade Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to Blue Jays for eight players
The Marlins made a big splash on the free agent market following the 2011 season, as they prepared to open Marlins Park the next spring. Miami spent a combined $191 million to sign free agents Buehrle, Reyes and closer Heath Bell. It appeared the franchise was remaking itself, adding those established stars to a club that already featured slugger Giancarlo Stanton. But after a 69-93 season in '12, the Marlins traded Buehrle, Reyes and three other players to Toronto for eight players: Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, Jeff Mathis and Justin Nicolino.

The move represented a stunning reversal for Miami, from a big-spending offseason to build a competitive club, to trading some of their highest-paid players away for young talent. The Marlins have had little success on the field since, finishing no higher than third place in five of six seasons, with a losing record in each one.

Video: Rosenthal breaks down potential blockbuster trade

Jan. 21, 2011: Blue Jays trade Vernon Wells to Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera
Wells had suffered a series of injuries but bounced back for a strong season in 2010, compiling a 125 OPS+ while hitting 31 homers and driving in 88 runs. The Angels were desperate for an impact bat after missing out on several bids in the free-agent market including Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre, and ownership issued a directive to bring Wells west. 

Wells, a homegrown star with Toronto, was thought to be untradeable -- until he was sent to Anaheim along with $5 million in cash for the powerful Napoli and the veteran outfielder Rivera. Part of the motivation was financial; Wells was due for a raise of nearly $11 million in 2011. But more injuries ultimately prevented Wells from living up to his contract, as he hit just .218 in his debut season with the Halos and played just one more half-season in Anaheim before he was traded again to the Yankees. Wells was out of the Majors within three years of this deal. 

Feb. 16, 2004: Rangers trade Alex Rodriguez to Yankees for Alfonso Soriano
This move was stunning not because Rodriguez was moved, but because of which team he ended up with. For weeks, it appeared that Rodriguez was destined for the Red Sox, and Boston was coming off a heartbreaking loss to New York in the American League Championship Series the prior October. Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and company had a deal in place with Texas, and needed approval from the MLB Players Association to finalize a revised contract for Rodriguez, which would involve him reducing the total amount of his existing $252 million contract, of which $179 million remained.

The MLBPA declined to approve the contract restructuring proposal. Throughout this process, the Yankees -- another club Rodriguez had on his list of preferred trade destinations -- did not show interest in acquiring the superstar shortstop, because New York already had Derek Jeter at short, and ALCS walk-off hero Aaron Boone at third base. But after the Rangers-Red Sox deal was nixed, Boone hurt his knee playing a pick-up basketball game, opening a window for Rodriguez in the Bronx. The Yankees signed him, but while it appeared at the time that New York had once again gotten the better of Boston, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees in that October's ALCS with an epic comeback after being down three games to none, going on to win their first World Series title in 86 years.

Feb. 18, 1999: Blue Jays trade Roger Clemens to Yankees for David Wells, Homer Bush and Graeme Lloyd
Clemens was coming off his second consecutive AL Cy Young season with Toronto, and fifth overall. The right-hander remained his dominant self in his age-35 season, and invoked a clause in his contract in which he was permitted to demand a trade. The Blue Jays tried to strike a deal with the Yankees in mid-December, but New York was unwilling to part with top prospects, and an agreement seemed unlikely.

But in a stunning turn of events, and after Clemens had retracted his trade demand, the two sides reached an agreement that didn't cost New York any top prospects. Instead, the Yankees sent David Wells and a pair of lower-level prospects to Toronto, landing The Rocket in one of the most significant transactions in franchise history.

Video: 2000 ALCS Gm4: Clemens fans 15 in a one-hit shutout

Clemens would end up being instrumental in New York's World Series championships in 1999 and 2000, the last of which marked a three-peat. Wells returned to the organization that originally drafted him in '82, and for whom he pitched the first six seasons of his Major League career. He spent two more seasons with the Blue Jays, posting a 4.47 ERA (111 ERA+), finishing third in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2000.

Dec. 10, 1984: Expos trade Gary Carter to Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans
Carter was an institution in Canada, and one of the most popular players in Expos history. In 11 seasons with Montreal, he was a seven-time All-Star, won three Gold Glove Awards, and had slashed .272/.345/.461 with 215 home runs. He also hit .429 with four doubles and a pair of homers in Montreal's run to the NL Championship Series in 1981.

The move was stunning, but the Expos were looking to improve at multiple positions after a fifth-place finish in the NL East in '84. Carter would go on to play five seasons for the Mets, being selected to the NL All-Star team four times and finishing third in NL MVP voting in '86, the year he helped New York beat the Red Sox to win the World Series.

Video: Expos Retired Number: No. 8, Gary Carter

April 5, 1972: Expos trade Rusty Staub to Mets for Tim Foli, Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton
Staub was known affectionately as "Le Grand Orange," and became immensely popular in Montreal after being traded to the Expos by the Astros in 1969. He performed well on the field -- hitting .296/.404/.501 with 78 homers in three seasons, in each of which he was an All-Star -- and endeared himself to the fans by learning to speak French. 

"I felt I should be able to communicate with the people of Montreal in their own language," he told Sports Illustrated in '70. "After all, they were interested in baseball. I thought I should be interested enough in them to learn how to converse with them."

Video: Expos Retired Number: No. 10, Rusty Staub

The trade was a shock to the baseball community in Montreal, and Staub went on to spend four seasons with the Mets and four with the Tigers before Detroit traded him back to Montreal in '79. His second stint with the franchise was brief, however -- he only played 38 games for the Expos before being traded the following March to the Rangers.

Dec. 9, 1965: Reds trade Frank Robinson to Orioles for Jack Baldschun, Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson
Robinson was a tremendous talent, and had proven it with Cincinnati by hitting .303/.389/.554 with 324 home runs over 10 seasons with the club. He was the 1956 NL Rookie of the Year, and the '61 NL MVP. Yet Reds general manager Bill DeWitt said the future Hall of Famer had reached his peak by that point, and sent him to Baltimore following the '65 season. 

The centerpiece in the return for Robinson was Pappas, a two-time All-Star right-hander with a 3.24 ERA in nine seasons with the Orioles. He only spent two and a half seasons with Cincinnati, posting a 4.04 ERA in 82 appearances (75 starts) before being traded to the Braves in June of '68.

Video: Orioles Legends Series: Frank Robinson

Meanwhile, Robinson went on to put up even better numbers in six seasons with Baltimore, slashing .300/.401/.543 with 179 homers, becoming the first player to win the MVP Award in each league by doing so in his first AL season with the Orioles in '66. That year, he also won the Triple Crown and led Baltimore to a World Series championship. 

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Longest home runs for every MLB team

Statcast measures farthest blast since 2015 for all 30 clubs

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Here is a look at the longest homers hit by each of the 30 MLB clubs since Statcast™ began tracking home run distances at the start of the 2015 season.

American League East

Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson, April 23, 2015, vs. BAL; Sept. 17, 2017, at MIN
Distance: 481 feet (Watch them: HR No. 1; HR No. 2)
Both of these big flies were demolished. The first, with a 112.5-mph exit velocity, Donaldson launched into the second deck at the Rogers Centre. He hit the second even harder, at 113.5 mph, reaching the upper tank at Minnesota's Target Field. Full Blue Jays leaderboard

Orioles: Jonathan Schoop, Aug. 26, 2015, at KC
Distance: 484 feet (Watch it)
The Orioles have had their share of big sluggers in recent years, but it's Schoop who holds this title. One of baseball's best sluggers at second base, he jumped on this Johnny Cueto pitch that tailed in off the inside corner and kept it just fair down the left-field line at Kauffman Stadium. Full Orioles leaderboard

Rays: J.P. Arencibia, Sept. 7, 2015, at DET; C.J. Cron, Aug. 18, 2018, at BOS
Distance: 464 feet (Watch them: Arencibia's; Cron's)
Arencibia played only 24 games for Tampa Bay -- all in 2015, his final MLB season -- but he had no shortage of power. The opposing pitcher for this home run, the Tigers' Randy Wolf, was also in his final season. Nonetheless, they combined for an entry in the Rays' Statcast™ record book.

Arencibia got company when Cron showed off some light-tower power at Fenway Park in the dog days of August 2018. Cron crushed a 112.9 mph, 33-degree, 464-foot moonshot off David Price way over the Green Monster and over Lansdowne Street. Full Rays leaderboard

Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez, April 29, 2017, vs. CHC
Distance: 469 feet (Watch it)
Before this, Ramirez was tied with David Ortiz for the longest Red Sox homer, at 468 feet. But here, facing former Boston hurler John Lackey at Fenway Park, he took that honor all for himself. Ramirez drilled a center-cut two-seamer way over the Green Monster for a monstrous solo shot. Full Red Sox leaderboard

Yankees: Aaron Judge, June 11, 2017, vs. BAL
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Judge became a sensation in 2017 because of feats like this one. The AL Rookie of the Year cleared the left-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium with a 118.6 mph, 495-foot homer. It was the longest homer of 2017 and tied Judge for the second-longest big fly in Statcast™ history. Full Yankees leaderboard

Video: BAL@NYY: Judge belts 495-foot homer, longest of 2017

AL Central

Indians: Mike Napoli, Sept. 9, 2016, vs. MIN
Distance: 463 feet (Watch it)
The Party at Napoli's reached the highest deck at Target Field on this September night, as this blast helped the first baseman reach a career-high 93 RBIs on the season. Napoli had also hit a 464-foot ball in foul territory the night before at Progressive Field.

"That's good for bragging rights," Napoli's teammate, Rajai Davis, told "That's an awesome, great feeling. I don't think I've ever hit the ball that far in batting practice. He's doing it in games. That's awesome. We can all admire that." Full Indians leaderboard

Royals: Brandon Moss, July 1, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Moss left his mark during his lone season in Kansas City, golfing this pitch to help spur a four-run comeback for the home side against the rival Twins. Moss would retire the following spring, but his power clearly remained in his bat until the end. Full Royals leaderboard

Tigers: J.D. Martinez, July 21, 2015, vs. SEA
Distance: 467 feet (Watch it)
Not to be outdone by Nelson Cruz's 455-foot shot in the top half of the third inning, Martinez one-upped Seattle's slugger in the bottom half with this impressive blast to straightaway center at cavernous Comerica Park. The dinger impressed just about everyone in the ballpark, except perhaps the slugger who hit it.

"It all means the same to me," Martinez told about his big fly. "I don't care. People get caught up on [distance]. To me, I really pay no mind. I just hit it, and I just hope it gets out." Full Tigers leaderboard

Twins: Kennys Vargas, June 20, 2017, vs. CWS
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
There really wasn't any doubt about this homer as soon as Vargas' bat met this pitch from White Sox starter Derek Holland with a scorching 114.1-mph exit velocity. Vargas' shot climbed high above the bullpen in left-center at Target Field for one of four 450-plus foot homers the first baseman hit in less than 800 at-bats in a Twins uniform. Full Twins leaderboard

Video: CWS@MIN: Vargas crushes a 483-foot home run

White Sox: Avisail Garcia, April 3, 2018, vs. TOR
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
Garcia was coming off a terrific 2017 campaign in which he finished second in the AL batting race with a .330 average, but he showed he could be much more than a slap hitter with this prodigious blast at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ's slider caught too much of the plate, and Garcia punished it with a blistering 116.7-mph exit velocity.

"It was a pretty impressive blast, just from standing in the dugout and watching it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria told "Anybody who is a fan of baseball must have been impressed by that shot." Full White Sox leaderboard

AL West

Angels: Mike Trout, July 8, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Trout's second homer of the night travelled deep to straightaway center field, landing halfway up the bleachers at Coors Field. Better yet, Trout's solo blast tied the ballgame and led to an eventual 3-2 win for the Angels. Full Angels leaderboard

Astros: George Springer, May 31, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 473 feet (Watch it)
Springer's blast capped a two-homer day against the Twins, part of a massive series for the eventual World Series champions in which they set a franchise record for runs scored in a three-game series.

"That's all I've got," Springer said of the homer. "That's about all I can hit it." Full Astros leaderboard

Athletics: Matt Olson, Sept. 15, 2017, vs. PHI
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
Olson's sky-high blast at Citizens Bank Park came at the peak of an incredibly powerful rookie season in which he crushed 24 homers in just 189 at-bats for Oakland. Phillies starter Mark Leiter Jr. knew he was in trouble as soon as Olson connected; all there was left to do was wait and see where the slugger's blast would eventually land. Full A's leaderboard

Mariners: Nelson Cruz, Sept. 24, 2016, vs. MIN
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Few players in the game can crush a baseball like Cruz, and the Boomstick found the third deck at Target Field with this neck-craning blast. Cruz's shot remains among the longest homer hit outside the thin air of Coors Field, and it came one night after he had launched a different 454-foot homer for Seattle. Full Mariners leaderboard

Video: SEA@MIN: Cruz crushes 493-ft homer

Rangers: Nomar Mazara, May 25, 2016, vs. LAA
Distance: 491 feet (Watch it)
The rookie Mazara raised his profile substantially with this towering drive to the upper deck at Globe Life Park, turning on and punishing an offspeed pitch from Angels starter Hector Santiago.

"That was loud," said Rangers catcher Bobby Wilson of Mazara's dinger. "You need earplugs for that one." Full Rangers leaderboard

National League East

Braves: Freddie Freeman, June 13, 2015, vs. NYM
Distance: 464 feet (Watch it)
Atlanta's most consistent slugger got a hold of this first-inning fastball from Mets ace Jacob deGrom, pulling it high and deep onto the right-center-field bridge at Citi Field. Full Braves leaderboard

Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, Aug. 6, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 504 feet (Watch it)
The 504-foot distance may have been aided by the thin air at Coors Field, but Stanton has shown plenty of times that he doesn't need any help to clear the fence. Full Marlins leaderboard

Video: Must C Crushed: Stanton connects on 504-foot home run

Mets: Michael Conforto, Aug. 27, 2018, at CHC
Distance: 472 feet (Watch it)
Conforto got all of one against the Cubs' Jon Lester -- crushing a 109.8 mph, 472-foot home run way, way out to dead center at Wrigley Field. With that sweet left-handed swing, Conforto surpassed fellow Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes for the team's longest home run since Statcast™ began tracking -- a mark Cespedes had set earlier in the season with a 463-foot homer on April 24. Full Mets leaderboard

Nationals: Michael A. Taylor, Aug. 20, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Rockies starter Yohan Flande was cruising against the Nationals until Taylor gave his club a humongous game-tying lift on this blast to left-center. Taylor's dinger may have received an assist from the friendly Coors Field environment, but his 110.1-mph exit velocity was no joke. Taylor's ideal 26-degree launch angle also helped this ball go a long way. Full Nationals leaderboard

Phillies: Maikel Franco, July 10, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 471 feet (Watch it)
Rockies reliever Jason Motte attempted to go up and in on Franco with a fastball, but the Phillies third baseman was ready for the challenge. Franco turned quickly on the pitch, pulling it into the high altitude at Coors Field for a long line-drive homer. Full Phillies leaderboard

NL Central

Brewers: Domingo Santana, July 26, 2017, vs. WSH
Distance: 476 feet (Watch it)
Nationals Park has housed plenty of its own sluggers, from Bryce Harper to Anthony Rendon to Ryan Zimmerman. But it was the visiting Santana who etched his name atop the ballpark's list of longest home runs on this summer evening. Santana turned on an inside fastball from Gio Gonzalez and crushed it over the visitors' bullpen, high into the left-field concourse. Full Brewers leaderboard

Cardinals: Marcell Ozuna, April 3, 2018, vs. MIL
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Ozuna's first Cardinals home run also established him atop his new team's home run distance leaderboard. Facing Brewers starter Chase Anderson, Ozuna connected with a 117.2-mph exit velocity and sent Anderson's offering deep to left-center -- also setting a new Statcast™ mark for the longest homer at Miller Park. Full Cardinals leaderboard

Cubs: Kris Bryant, Sept. 6, 2015, vs. ARI
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Wrigley Field can become a launching pad when the wind blows out toward the bleachers, but even as a rookie, Bryant proved he didn't need much help launching prolific blasts. This one bounced off the new scoreboard in left field -- fittingly right next to Bryant's own picture -- to further build Bryant's prestige with the North Siders. Full Cubs leaderboard

Video: ARI@CHC: Statcast™ on Bryant's blast off scoreboard

Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, Oct. 4, 2015, vs. CIN
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Pittsburgh's hulking slugger decided the right-field seats at PNC Park weren't enough on the final day of the 2015 regular season, instead clearing the bleachers completely and depositing this ball into the Allegheny River. Alvarez simply demolished the pitch, connecting with a 115.4-mph exit velocity and uppercutting with an ideal 29-degree launch angle. Full Pirates leaderboard

Reds: Eugenio Suarez, June 2, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 465 feet (Watch it)
Listed at just 5-foot-11 and 213 pounds, Suarez struck a blow for undersized infielders with this massive shot to left-center at Coors Field. This was actually Suarez's second homer of the game, capping an impressive evening for the third baseman. Full Reds leaderboard

NL West

D-backs: Jake Lamb, April 29, 2017, vs. COL
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
In the days before the humidor, balls flew out of Chase Field. What's surprising about Lamb's blast isn't where it was hit, but the opposing pitcher he victimized. The Rockies' Tyler Anderson is a left-hander, and southpaws overall had been extremely effective against Lamb. But in this at-bat, the platoon disadvantage didn't bother Lamb at all. Full D-backs leaderboard

Dodgers: Joc Pederson, June 2, 2015, at COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Considering the Rockies are in their division, it's no surprise that the Dodgers hit their longest homer at Coors Field: a majestic blast by Pederson way up into the center-field bleachers. It came in a series in which Pederson crushed four home runs -- one in each game. Full Dodgers leaderboard

Giants: Brandon Belt, May 22, 2015, at COL
Distance: 475 feet (Watch it)
Another NL West club, another entry from the friendly environment of Coors Field. Belt jumped on a hanging changeup and launched it far into the third deck in right field. This type of blast has been a rarity for the Giants, who hit the second-fewest homers of 420-plus feet (74) from 2015-17, ahead of only the Braves. Full Giants leaderboard

Padres: Franchy Cordero, April 20, 2018, at ARI
Distance: 489 feet (Watch it)
Franchy absolutely crushed this one. The D-backs' Matt Koch grooved Cordero a fastball, and Cordero hammered it 116.3 mph all the way up the scoreboard in dead center at Chase Field, instantly establishing a new longest home run of the 2018 season and a Padres Statcast™ record. He obliterated the team's previous best of 465 feet, which had been set by Melvin Upton Jr. in June of 2016. Cordero's blast is also the longest hit at Chase Field since Statcast™'s introduction in 2015, and the 10th-longest hit by anyone in baseball since 2015. Full Padres leaderboard

Video: SD@ARI: Cordero crushes 489-ft. HR at 116.3 mph

Rockies: Trevor Story, Sept. 5, 2018, vs. SF
Distance: 505 feet (Watch it)
Story obliterated a pitch from Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez in the fourth inning for his second home run in a three-homer game, and this one made Statcast™ history, projected at 505 feet onto the concourse in left-center field at Coors Field. The blast eclipsed the previous record for longest home run recorded by Statcast™ by one foot -- that was hit by Giancarlo Stanton at Coors Field on Aug. 6, 2016. Full Rockies leaderboard

Video: SF@COL: Story rips 2nd of 3 HRs a historic 505 feet

David Adler is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.

10 notable examples of 3-team trades

When it comes to pulling off a trade, three is sometimes not a crowd, but a necessity.

While almost all deals involve two teams working out an exchange, sometimes the addition of a third brings some previously absent element into the mix that allows everyone to get what they want. It also makes things a bit more complicated, and perhaps more exciting, for fans, as they try to figure out who got the upper hand.

When it comes to pulling off a trade, three is sometimes not a crowd, but a necessity.

While almost all deals involve two teams working out an exchange, sometimes the addition of a third brings some previously absent element into the mix that allows everyone to get what they want. It also makes things a bit more complicated, and perhaps more exciting, for fans, as they try to figure out who got the upper hand.

With that in mind, here is a look back at 10 of the most significant three-way trades from recent history -- plus a bonus four-teamer:

Dec. 13, 2018: Switching sluggers
INDIANS GOT: Carlos Santana (from SEA), Jake Bauers (TB)
MARINERS GOT: Edwin Encarnacion (from CLE), competitive balance pick, cash
RAYS GOT: Yandy Diaz (CLE), Cole Sulser (CLE)

As part of their offseason restructuring, the Mariners took Santana as part of a deal with the Phillies, then flipped him (and the two guaranteed seasons left on his contract) for Encarnacion (and his one season). Meanwhile, the Indians reunited with Santana, who had been a big part of the team's success in recent years before signing with Philly after 2017. This deal also featured an intriguing exchange of talented but relatively unproven young hitters, with Bauers going to Cleveland and Diaz to Tampa Bay.

July 30, 2015: A baker's dozen
BRAVES GOT: Hector Olivera (from LAD), Paco Rodriguez (LAD), Zachary Bird (LAD), competitive balance pick (MIA)
DODGERS GOT: Alex Wood (ATL), Jose Peraza (ATL), Bronson Arroyo (ATL), Luis Avilan (ATL), Jim Johnson (ATL), Mat Latos (MIA), Mike Morse (MIA)
MARLINS GOT: Victor Araujo (LAD), Kevin Guzman (LAD), Jeff Brigham (MIA)

This ludicrously complicated deal stands out more for its sheer size and strangeness than any impact it had on the field. Of the 13 players involved, Wood has provided far and away the most production for his acquiring team, becoming a key rotation piece in L.A. Notably, Peraza became part of another three-team deal less than six months later, going to Cincinnati as part of a transaction that also involved the White Sox acquiring Todd Frazier.

Video: LAD@LAA: Wood K's Trout swinging to end the 1st

Dec. 9, 2014: Trea to D.C. -- eventually
NATIONALS GOT: Trea Turner (PTBNL from SD), Joe Ross (SD)
PADRES GOT: Wil Myers (TB), Ryan Hanigan (TB), Jose Castillo (TB), Gerardo Reyes (TB)
RAYS GOT: Steven Souza Jr. (WSH), Jake Bauers (SD), Rene Rivera (SD), Burch Smith (SD), Travis Ott (WSH)

While it could be viewed as two distinct trades, this deal was effectively a three-way concoction -- and one that might leave a bad taste for fans of the Padres and Rays. That's because of the emergence of Turner, who was selected 13th overall in the 2014 MLB Draft and could not be officially included in the trade until a year after that, under the rules in effect at the time. Turner since has become a star shortstop and one of MLB's top basestealers in Washington. Both Bauers and Souza since have been involved in other three-team trades, with Souza going to Arizona in February 2018, and Bauers to Cleveland as noted above.

Dec. 5, 2014: Didi to NYC
D-BACKS GOT: Robbie Ray (from DET), Domingo Leyba (DET)
TIGERS GOT: Shane Greene (NYY)
YANKEES GOT: Didi Gregorius (ARI)

This was Gregorius' second big three-teamer in two years (see below), and it thrust him into quite a spotlight. Derek Jeter had just wrapped up his career in the Bronx, and the Yankees needed a shortstop. Gregorius stepped in admirably and since then has gradually shaken off his label as a defensive specialist. Greene and Ray also have tasted some success, with Ray an All-Star in 2017 for Arizona.

July 31, 2014: Tigers meet Rays' Price
MARINERS GOT: Austin Jackson (from DET)
RAYS GOT: Willy Adames (DET), Drew Smyly (DET), Nick Franklin (SEA)
TIGERS GOT: David Price (TB)

The prize of the Trade Deadline, Price ultimately spent exactly one year in Detroit before he was dealt to Toronto in 2015, but he gave the Tigers a 2.90 ERA over 32 starts. It still remains to be seen how much they gave up for that performance, with Adames showing promise as a Rays rookie in '18 after years as a top prospect.

Video: DET@NYY: Price fans 10, goes 8 2/3 in Tigers debut

Dec. 11, 2012: Didi, Part I
D-BACKS GOT: Gregorius (from CIN), Tony Sipp (CLE), Lars Anderson (CLE)
INDIANS GOT: Trevor Bauer (ARI), Bryan Shaw (ARI), Matt Albers (ARI), Drew Stubbs (CIN)
REDS GOT: Shin-Soo Choo (CLE), Jason Donald (CLE)

Quite a bit of talent changed hands in this trade. Cleveland made out particularly well, taking advantage of Arizona's impatience with Bauer (the third overall pick in 2011) and also landing Shaw, who became a key bullpen piece for the next five seasons. Cincinnati only got one season of Choo before he reached free agency, but it featured a .423 OBP. Gregorius' tenure in the desert also was brief, as previously discussed.

July 31, 2010: Klubot, activate
CARDINALS GOT: Jake Westbrook (from CLE), Nick Greenwood (SD)
INDIANS GOT: Corey Kluber (SD)
PADRES GOT: Ryan Ludwick (STL)

St. Louis got a solid veteran starting pitcher in Westbrook, while Ludwick struggled in San Diego. Kluber wasn't a household name at the time, as a former fourth-round pick who was in Double-A, but four years later, he was the American League Cy Young Award winner.

Dec. 8, 2009: Max value
D-BACKS GOT: Ian Kennedy (from NYY), Edwin Jackson (DET)
TIGERS GOT: Max Scherzer (ARI), Austin Jackson (NYY), Phil Coke (NYY), Daniel Schlereth (ARI)
YANKEES GOT: Curtis Granderson (DET)

This is just a fun trade all around, though less so for the D-backs, who got decent value over three-plus seasons from Kennedy and a no-hitter from Jackson while giving up too early on Scherzer. The 11th overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft made only 37 starts for Arizona before continuing his development in Detroit, where he won his first Cy Young Award in '13. The Tigers came away with not only Scherzer, but five seasons of a valuable starting center fielder (Jackson). Granderson put together four productive seasons in the Bronx -- including two with 40-plus homers -- before moving on to the Mets.

Video: Max Scherzer wins his first Cy Young Award

Dec. 11, 2008: "It was a mess"
INDIANS GOT: Joe Smith (from NYM), Luis Valbuena (SEA)
MARINERS GOT: Franklin Gutierrez (CLE), Jason Vargas (NYM), Aaron Heilman (NYM), Endy Chavez (NYM), Ezequiel Carrera (NYM), Mike Carp (NYM), Maikel Cleto (NYM)
METS GOT: J.J. Putz (SEA), Sean Green (SEA), Jeremy Reed (SEA)

Ten years later, it's hard to say this was a true blockbuster. Smith's "mess" assessment -- recently shared with's Anthony Castrovince -- seems more accurate. But this massive deal executed at the 2008 Winter Meetings remains fascinating. It ultimately backfired on the Mets, who got little from Putz, previously a top closer in Seattle. Smith, Vargas, Gutierrez, and the late Valbuena went on to greater success afterward, though none of the dozen players involved was bound for stardom.

July 31, 2008: Mannywood is born
DODGERS GOT: Manny Ramirez (from BOS)
PIRATES GOT: Brandon Moss (BOS), Craig Hansen (BOS), Andy LaRoche (LAD), Bryan Morris (LAD)
RED SOX GOT: Jason Bay (PIT)

Ramirez's highly successful and tumultuous tenure in Boston finally came to an end, as he was shipped off to L.A. The immediate result was an all-time great stretch run that included a .396/.489/.743 slash line and 17 home runs in 53 games. The Sox didn't come away empty-handed, either, as Bay posted a 36-homer, 119-RBI season in 2009. No such luck for the Bucs, with only Moss going on to success -- after he'd moved on from Pittsburgh.

July 31, 2004: Tour de fource
CUBS GOT: Nomar Garciaparra (from BOS), Matt Murton (BOS)
EXPOS GOT: Alex Gonzalez (CHC), Brendan Harris (CHC), Francis Beltran (CHC)
RED SOX GOT: Orlando Cabrera (MON), Doug Mientkiewicz (MIN)
TWINS GOT: Justin Jones (CHC)

While this technically wasn't a three-team trade, it's certainly worth mentioning here, as a rare example of a deal that required more than three clubs to complete. It took place a month after Carlos Beltran went from the Royals to the Astros in a three-way transaction that also had major postseason implications. In this case, Garciaparra was the biggest name involved, as a five-time All-Star and two-time batting champion. But Cabrera brought a steadier glove at shortstop and played well in his short stint in Boston before leaving as a free agent. Mientkiewicz secured his own place in Sox history, catching the final out of the World Series at first base as the club snapped its infamous championship drought.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

A look at top franchise players who were dealt

Franchise players don't get traded often.

These are the players who break into the Majors with an organization, develop into stars there and help carry the team to greater heights. There are plenty of on-field reasons not to deal such a player, not to mention emotional and sentimental ones. It's not easy to send away someone who has meant so much to his team and city.

Franchise players don't get traded often.

These are the players who break into the Majors with an organization, develop into stars there and help carry the team to greater heights. There are plenty of on-field reasons not to deal such a player, not to mention emotional and sentimental ones. It's not easy to send away someone who has meant so much to his team and city.

But such a trade isn't unprecedented, and sometimes a franchise player still in or near his prime is dealt by his original club. Here is a look at some of the most notable examples from throughout baseball history, beginning with the most recent.

December 2018: D-backs trade 1B Paul Goldschmidt to Cardinals
Goldschmidt departed the desert only after cementing his place as the best position player in the franchise's young history. Blossoming from an eighth-round pick in the 2009 Draft into a six-time All-Star and three-time top-three National League MVP finisher, Goldy left as the D-backs' all-time leader in OBP (.398), slugging (.532), OPS+ (145), walks (655), and wins above replacement for position players (40.1). He also won three Gold Glove Awards at first. But with just one season remaining before the 31-year-old was scheduled to reach free agency, Arizona chose to send him to St. Louis for three young players, including catcher Carson Kelly and pitcher Luke Weaver.

January 2018: Pirates trade OF Andrew McCutchen to Giants
McCutchen, a first-round pick by the Pirates in 2005, came up to the Majors in '09 and became the driving force behind a baseball renaissance in the Steel City. In '13, Cutch took NL MVP honors, as the Bucs won 94 games and made the postseason for the first time since Barry Bonds left following the 1992 season. In McCutchen's nine seasons in Pittsburgh, he was selected to five All-Star teams and finished in the top five in MVP voting four times, while his 203 home runs were the most by a Bucs player over the past 40 years. But like Goldschmidt, McCutchen was dealt ahead of his last year before free agency, then sent on to the Yankees on Aug. 31 before signing with the Phillies in the offseason.

Video: Must C Cutch: Andrew McCutchen's return to Pittsburgh

December 2017: Rays trade 3B Evan Longoria to Giants
Longoria had five guaranteed seasons remaining on a contract extension when the Rays traded him to San Francisco for Denard Span and three prospects, not long before the Giants acquired McCutchen. That ended a highly productive tenure with Tampa Bay, which included a franchise-record 50 WAR. Longoria left as the franchise leader in most offensive categories, having helped turn a perennial last-place club into a contender that won 90-plus games five times and made the postseason four times from 2008-13. The Rays reached the World Series in '08, when Longoria took AL Rookie of the Year honors two years after being selected third overall in the Draft.

December 2017: Marlins trade OF Giancarlo Stanton to Yankees
New York landed the reigning NL MVP -- and most of his record-setting contract -- from Miami for Starlin Castro and two prospects. Stanton departed South Florida as the Marlins' record-holder in career WAR (35.1), home runs (267), RBIs (672), slugging percentage (.554) and many other categories. While Stanton's first season with the Yankees wasn't nearly as productive as his last with the Marlins (59 homers), he also reached the postseason for the first time in his career.

Video: HRD Rd1: Stanton rips 16 homers in Round 1

December 2009: Blue Jays trade SP Roy Halladay to Phillies
The late Halladay had produced 48.5 WAR for Toronto since his 1998 debut -- second in franchise history to Dave Stieb -- over a 12-year tenure that included six All-Star selections and an AL Cy Young Award, but no postseason appearances. After posting a 75-87 record in '09, the Blue Jays embarked upon a rebuilding project that included parting with Halladay for a package of prospects. The right-hander, who had one year left on his contract at the time, won the NL Cy Young Award in '10 with the Phillies.

February 2000: Mariners trade OF Ken Griffey Jr. to Reds
Griffey now wears a Seattle cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, but after the 1999 season, he requested a trade, following an 11-year run that included 398 home runs, an AL MVP Award, 10 Gold Glove Awards and a franchise-record 70.6 WAR. With one year left on his contact, Griffey was sent to Cincinnati. But a bad situation worked out for the Mariners, who got a solid young center fielder in the trade (Mike Cameron) and made the postseason the next two seasons, winning 116 games in '01. After an injury-plagued tenure with the Reds, Griffey returned to finish his career in Seattle from 2009-10.

Video: CIN@STL: Griffey hits his 500th career home run

In 2012, the Mariners traded away Ichiro Suzuki, another franchise icon who had spent his career with the club. But he was 38 years old at the time and no longer performing near a superstar level, so his trade to the Yankees (for pitchers Danny Farquhar and D.J. Mitchell) did not have quite the same impact as the Griffey blockbuster.

December 1984: Expos trade C Gary Carter to Mets
Carter debuted with Montreal as a 20-year-old in 1974 -- the team's sixth season -- and by the end of '84, he had made seven NL All-Star teams and produced a franchise-record 55.5 WAR. But the '84 Expos finished in fifth place and subsequently swapped their elite backstop for four players, including shortstop Hubie Brooks. While the Expos never returned to the postseason before leaving Montreal after the 2004 season, Carter helped the Mets win the '86 World Series. He closed out his career back in Montreal in '92 and entered the Hall of Fame wearing an Expos cap in 2003.

This was not the first time another franchise's icon -- and future Hall of Famer -- had been traded to the Mets. On May 11, 1972, the Mets acquired a 41-year-old Willie Mays from the Giants for right-hander Charlie Williams. Mays was well past his prime by then, but he did help New York win the '73 NL pennant.

February 1979: Twins trade 1B Rod Carew to Angels
Carew made the AL All-Star team in each of his 12 seasons in Minnesota and won the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year Award, the '77 AL MVP Award and seven batting titles. But by '79, the Twins had finished third or lower in the AL West for eight straight seasons, and Carew was one year away from free agency. The Angels acquired the sweet-swinging lefty for a four-player package, and Carew finished his career in Anaheim, eclipsing 3,000 hits in 1985. The Hall of Famer's 63.7 WAR with the Twins still has him just ahead of Harmon Killebrew for first in franchise history.

Video: MIN@LAA: Carew collects his 3,000th career hit

June 1977: Mets trade SP Tom Seaver to Reds
Just before the Trade Deadline -- then scheduled for June 15 -- the last-place Mets shipped off their ace and future Hall of Famer in a highly controversial deal for a quartet of young players. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took his talents to the defending World Series-champion Big Red Machine and remained in Cincinnati until a one-year return to Queens in '84. More than 30 years after he last pitched, Seaver's 76.1 WAR with the Mets is still nearly double the total of any other pitcher in franchise history.

December 1973: Astros trade OF Jimmy Wynn to Dodgers
Wynn's debut in 1963 came one year after the franchise's inaugural season. Playing in a tough era for hitters and mostly in the cavernous Astrodome, "The Toy Cannon" had seven 20-homer seasons, six 5-WAR seasons and a 131 OPS+ in 11 years with the club. But after he slumped in '73, Houston swapped Wynn for another accomplished veteran, left-handed pitcher Claude Osteen. Though since passed by such luminaries as Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, Wynn's 41.4 WAR made him easily the most productive player of the Astros' first dozen seasons.

December 1971: Angels trade SS Jim Fregosi to Mets
It wasn't until Mike Trout that an Angels position player generated more WAR for the club than Fregosi's 45.9. Selected from the Red Sox in the 1960 Expansion Draft, Fregosi was still a teenager when he made his debut late in the '61 season, the Halos' first. He became a six-time All-Star, but he began to decline in '71, and the Angels made the fortuitous decision to ship Fregosi to the Mets for four players. One of them was a young Nolan Ryan, who immediately developed into an All-Star in Anaheim. Fregosi hung on as a player until '78, when he took over as the Angels' manager and led the franchise to its first postseason appearance in '79.

December 1965: Reds trade OF Frank Robinson to Orioles
Robinson spent his first 10 seasons in Cincinnati, winning an NL Rookie of the Year Award and an NL MVP Award, smashing 324 home runs and racking up 63.8 WAR -- easily a Reds record at the time. Evidently believing Robinson's best days were behind him, the Reds sent the slugger to Baltimore for three players, including two-time All-Star pitcher Milt Pappas. The Orioles got the better end of the deal, as Robinson added an AL MVP trophy to his collection in '66 and Baltimore went to the World Series four times in his six seasons, winning twice. Robinson now wears an Orioles cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Video: DET@BAL: Frank Robinson hits 500th home run

December 1926: Cardinals trade 2B Rogers Hornsby to Giants
In 13 seasons with St. Louis, Hornsby batted .359 with more than 2,100 hits, and he recorded the final out of Game 7 of the 1926 World Series by tagging out Babe Ruth on an ill-advised steal attempt. But Hornsby's contract talks with the Cardinals fell through, and the club dealt him to New York for pitcher Jimmy Ring and another star second baseman, Frankie Frisch. A future Hall of Famer, Frisch was an MVP winner in '31 and helped the Cardinals win two more World Series championships. Hornsby briefly returned to the Cardinals for part of the '33 season, and only Stan Musial has since exceeded his 91.4 WAR for the franchise.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.