This team had the busiest Deadline ever
The San Diego Padres had a busy Trade Deadline, to say the least. Over the course of the last few days in August, they acquired nine players, eight of whom have appeared in a Major League game this season. That’s the most Major Leaguers a team has acquired via trade in the month leading up to the Trade Deadline since it moved to July 31 in 1986 (and Aug. 1 in 2016). In this case, a Major Leaguer is defined as a player who appeared in the Majors for another team before being acquired, and went on to play for the acquiring team.
The Padres’ Major League haul includes SP Mike Clevinger, 1B Mitch Moreland, C Austin Nola, C Jason Castro, RP Dan Altavilla, RP Trevor Rosenthal, OF Greg Allen and RP Taylor Williams. The ninth player, Austin Adams, is hurt and has yet to pitch in the Majors this year as a result, but played in the Majors in 2019.
Prior to the 2020 Padres, only three teams had even acquired seven Major Leaguers in the month leading up to the Deadline since ‘86: the 2006 Reds, 2003 Yankees and 2000 Orioles.
The 2006 Reds finished third in the NL Central, but they entered July tied for the division lead. In what was likely an attempt to maintain that tie -- if not forge ahead -- they acquired seven Major Leaguers in July: Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris, Gary Majewski, Kyle Lohse and Rheal Cormier. The primary area of focus was bullpen improvement.
Guardado appeared in 15 games in relief, posting a 1.29 ERA for the Reds after having a 5.48 mark when he was acquired from the Mariners. None of the other players had a marked in-season improvement upon reaching Cincinnati -- in fact, most of them regressed. Bray was notable at the time, as the Expos' first-round pick in 2004, but he never quite panned out, pitching in six Major League seasons total.
The 2003 Yankees making this list is a lot of fun, since one singular July acquisition they made that year went on to have one of the most memorable moments in franchise history -- and he only counts once on the list, of course. That acquisition was Aaron Boone from the Reds, who’d go on to hit a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
The Yankees also traded for Armando Benitez and Jesse Orosco, both of whom they would later trade in August on waivers, as well as David Dellucci, Bret Prinz, Gabe White and Bubba Crosby. The Yankees led the AL East by four games on July 1 and won the division by six games, going on to lose to the Marlins in the World Series.
The 2000 Orioles’ situation was a bit different from the other teams noted so far. They were clear sellers at the Trade Deadline that year, entering July at 33-44 and finishing the season at 74-88, fourth in the AL East.
Among the players Baltimore traded away were Will Clark, Harold Baines, Charles Johnson, Mike Timlin and Mike Bordick. In return for them, and others, the O’s got Major Leaguers Mike Kinkade, Melvin Mora, Chris Richard, Brook Fordyce, Trent Hubbard, Fernando Lunar and Luis Rivera. Mora’s name stands out -- he’d go on to play 10 years with the Orioles, representing the club at both the 2003 and 2005 All-Star Games.
Each of those teams acquired seven Major Leaguers via trade, but none went as far as the 2020 Padres have gone -- getting eight Major Leaguers in the month leading up to the Trade Deadline. It’s an unprecedented return, for a team with October in its sights, looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The impact of these players remains to be seen, but the Padres' acquisition of them is already historic.
This was researched in conjunction with information from the Elias Sports Bureau.