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Dodgers: Ranking the Best Trades in Team History



Most of the time, fanbases hate to see players they’ve grown to love and appreciate be traded away. Most of the time. Every so often you get a guy that you can’t wait to get off of the team. In the history of the Dodgers, there are several big trades that stand out in a bad way to fans. The Pedro Martinez trade is still painful to even think about.

With that being said, we took to Twitter to find out what fans thought were the top trades in the history of the franchise. Dodgers fans took to the keyboards all weekend to give their thoughts on the moves made throughout the years. 

#5- Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer to Cincinatti FOR Homer Bailey, Jeter Downs, and Josiah Gray.

This one is tough, considering that fans were distraught watching Puig and Kemp leave the Dodgers. Puig was easily a fan-favorite in his time with Los Angeles, and Kemp had revitalized his career in his second stint with the team.

But the move did two things for the Dodgers. First, it gave them financial flexibility for the foreseeable future. The second thing it did was give Los Angeles a pair of top prospects. Gray remains in the team’s farm system as their number three prospect. Downs went to Boston in the Red Sox trade. Wood returned to the Dodgers on a one-year deal, while everyone else involved isn’t doing much. Puig is still a free agent, Kemp is on a minor league deal with the Marlins, and Bailey signed a one-year deal with the Twins.

#4- Manny Ramirez Acquired in a Three-Way Deal

The deal that kicked off Mannywood is one that will never be forgotten in Los Angeles. The Dodgers sent essentially nothing to the Red Sox and Pirates to get Ramirez into their outfield. Manny showed up to Los Angeles and hit 17 homeruns in 53 games during the 2008 season, fueling the Dodgers to their first NLCS appearance since 1988.

Things went downhill quickly for Manny, with a hefty PED suspension hampering his 2009 season. He was traded away following a series of injuries and poor performance during the 2010 season. 

#3- Dodgers Get Alfredo Griffin, Jay Howell, Jesse Orosco in a Three-Team Deal

This deal can be summed up in a lot of ways, but it was certainly the last of the building blocks to a World Series team. Los Angeles gave up Bob Welch, Matt Young, and Jack Savage in the deal to rebuild a championship lineup. Welch went on to win a Cy Young award, but GM Fred Claire’s risks paid off big time. 

The Kirk Gibson trade was another big part of the 1988 World Series win, but the Dodgers likely don’t win without this deal getting done. Howell and Orosco were lights out as relievers, and Griffin filled some necessary holes in the lineup. 

#2- The Adrian Gonzalez Blockbuster Deal

The 2012 deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers made them instant contenders. Unfortunately, it didn’t help them much that year as Los Angeles missed the playoffs entirely.

The Dodgers took on a ton of money from Crawford and Gonzalez in the deal, but the players they dealt away essentially did nothing in the years following the deal. Gonzo became a fan-favorite for years, playing in Los Angeles through 2017.

#1- Pee Wee Reese to Brooklyn 

It’s tough to not call this one the best trade ever made, given the fact that the Dodgers got a Hall of Fame infielder in exchange for nothing really. Brooklyn sent Red Evans, Art Parks, and $150,000 to the Boston Red Sox in the deal. Evans and Parks never played a gamed at the big league level after the trade,

Reese, on the other hand, was instrumental in winning the 1955 World Series. He was a ten-time All-Star who received MVP votes almost every season that he played. He was also a big supporter of Jackie Robinson and played a big role in his transition to Major League Baseball. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Disgraceful to include PED cheater Manny Ramirez as one of best trades by Dodgers! By far the acquisitions of Wally Moon (for Gino Cimoli), Tommy John (Dick Allen), Burt Hooton (Geoff Zahn), and Ron Perranoski (Don Zimmer) were each better trades than Manny “the cheater” Ramirez

  2. I’m not normally a comment contributor to your articles but see this posting to be quite shallow. Certainly there’s not argument with your number one choice but the balance overlook some significantly greater impactful trades than the other four listed. How about the 1964 trade that brought Claude Osteen for Frank Howard – a brilliant No. 3 starter after Koufax and Drysdale, and a solid No. 2 after Koufax’s retirement? Or, the ’72 trade that garnered Tommy John for Richie Allen, John turned in to a helluva pitcher, even going 13-3 before his ill-fated tear of his ulnar nerve? Or, the ’75 trade that brought Dusty Baker in exchange for Ferguson – a key component of the Dodger’s late ’70’s World Series teams. Or, the trade that landed Reggie Smith in exchange for an aging Jimmy Wynn – If Baker was a key late ’70’s component, Smith was the fire to those teams?
    All of these deserved mentioning in your post of the greatest Dodger trades, possibly more so than than any of those four you listed.

  3. PED cheater Manny Ramirez?? SMH! Wally Moon, Dusty Baker,Burt Hooton, Tommy John, Ron Perranoski, et al were much better trade acquisitions.

  4. Getting Mike Marshall for the 1974 season for Willie Davis. Davis had a good season for Montreal in 1974 but Marshall pitched in 108 games in relief helping the Dodgers win their first pennant since 1966 and was NL CY Young winner.

    Getting Andy Messersmith after the 1972 season from the Angels (along with Ken McMullen) for Bobby Valentine, Bill Singe,r and Frank Robinson (who was 36). Messersmith was a 20 game winner for the 1974 NL Champion Dodgers.

    Chris Taylor who LA got for Zach Lee. Taylor was a key player for the 2017 NL Champion Dodgers.

  5. Best trade never made – the Dodgers traded Orel Hershiser to the Ranger for Catcher Jim Sundberg but Sundberg had a clause in his contract and refused to go to LA nullifying the trade.

  6. Getting rid of Milton Bradley to the A’s for Andre Ethier. Bradley was psychotic and Ethier was an All Star and a solid right fielder and clutch hitter.

  7. The Steve Finley trade in ’04 was the main reason we won the division that year. He tore it up after the deadline and become a Dodger Hero with the Walk-off Slam to clinch the division.

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