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Reds' all-time Top 5 in-season trades

Will the Reds swing a deal before the July 31 Trade Deadline? Sometimes it takes years to determine how well a team did in a trade. With the benefit of hindsight, the following are the five most notable trades in franchise history that were conducted during the regular season, according to Mark Sheldon. Agree? Disagree? Comment below:

1. June 15, 1977: The Reds acquired right-hander Tom Seaver from the Mets for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry.

A lopsided deadline deal that brought in one of the league's best pitchers, Seaver went 14-3 in 20 starts the rest of the way for a Cincinnati squad that still fell short of reaching the postseason. In 1978, Seaver threw his only career no-hitter and the first no-no at Riverfront Stadium, and he helped guide the Reds to a 1979 National League West title.

In six seasons with the Reds, Seaver was 75-46 with a 3.18 ERA and was an All-Star in 1978 and 1981. He recorded his 3,000th strikeout in the strike-shortened 1981 season when Cincinnati had baseball's best overall record but still missed the playoffs in the split-season standings format.

2. May 29, 1971: The Reds acquired outfielder George Foster from the Giants for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert.

The acquisition of Foster gave the Big Red Machine one of its biggest power threats. Foster won the 1977 National League Most Valuable Player Award with a .320 average, 52 home runs and 149 RBIs. Of course, he was part of the back-to-back World Series winners in 1975-76.

Foster led the NL in RBIs from 1976-78 and had 244 homers in 11 seasons with the Reds.

3. April 7, 2006: The Reds received second baseman Brandon Phillips from the Indians for a player to be named that would be right-hander Jeff Stevens.

An early season trade made by then-general manager Wayne Krivsky continues to pay dividends for Cincinnati. Phillips, a former top prospect who wore out his welcome and was designated for assignment by Cleveland, resurrected his career with the Reds.

While becoming a key offensive cornerstone who helped the Reds win two division titles, Phillips also became a three-time All-Star, a three-time NL Gold Glove Award winner and a Silver Slugger Award winner. He's also emerged as a clear fan favorite.

4. July 31, 2009: Reds receive third baseman Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

This was a deal that was made when the Reds were essentially out of contention but with a firm gaze on the 2010 season. Rolen brought quiet leadership by setting a good example and had credibility from winning a World Series ring with the 2006 Cardinals. He hit 20 homers with 83 RBIs and helped lead the 2010 Reds to their first division title in 15 years.

Rolen continued to play elite-level defense despite debilitating injuries and won his eighth NL Gold Glove Award in 2010.

5. July 30, 2003: Reds get right-handers Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine and Jeff Bruksch from the A's for Jose Guillen.

A deal that was made by a pair of interim co-general managers after GM Jim Bowden was dismissed, the acquisition of Harang gradually began a transition to quality starting pitching that had long been missing in Cincinnati. Harang made 213 starts for Cincinnati from 2003-10 and had a 75-80 record with a 4.28 ERA.

But the seasons that saw the deal bear fruit came in 2006-07 when Harang had a combined 32-17 record. He led the NL in 2006 with 16 wins, 216 strikeouts and 35 starts.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.
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