With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Los Angeles Dodgers could find themselves with a new player courtesy of general manager Ned Colletti.
Since he took over in 2006, Colletti has constantly tried to improve the ballclub in the month of July. The Dodgers have made the postseason four times in Colletti’s tenure and his moves have attributed to all four trips.
We rank the best five deals made in July by the Dodgers GM:
#5 – (2008) Acquired 3B Casey Blake for RHP Jonathan Meloan and C Carlos Santana from the Cleveland Indians
In retrospect, this move could also fall into the bad trade category because of the development of Carlos Santana as a power hitter. However, Casey Blake came in and provided what the Dodgers needed at the time. He took over third base for the Dodgers and hit .251 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs in 58 games. Blake took over for Blake DeWitt at third and gave the lineup a needed boost to help them reach the postseason.
After 2008, Blake spent three more seasons in Los Angeles and continued to give the Dodgers a steady third baseman. While Santana has had some early success in his career, what Colletti did in acquiring Blake gave his team the best chance to win at the time.
#4 – (2013) Acquired SP Ricky Nolasco for RHPs Angel Sanchez, Steve Ames and Josh Wall from the Miami Marlins
In what became a half-season rental, the Dodgers received Ricky Nolasco for essentially a few low prospects. The right-hander came in and solidified the rotation, going 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 starts. He gave the Dodgers a solid fourth starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Nolasco helped the Dodgers complete their stretch run and take the National League West title. In the postseason, Nolasco was pushed back several times in favor of the aces and struggled in his only start.
Nolasco signed a new deal with the Minnesota Twins in the off-season after the Dodgers failed to show much interest in bringing him back. None of the players traded for the right-hander should do much in the big leagues, making this trade successful in terms of what was necessary in 2013.
#3 – (2006) Acquired SP Greg Maddux for SS Cesar Izturis from the Chicago Cubs
Acquiring a future Hall of Fame pitcher would rank high on any list, especially when that pitcher goes 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA while helping the team reach the postseason. Colletti acquired Greg Maddux for the stretch run and he helped in more than one way. Not only did Maddux perform on the field, but also provided a veteran presence in the clubhouse for young pitchers to look up to. Although he did well the rest of the season, the right-hander struggled in his only postseason start, allowing four runs in four innings of work.
Following the Dodgers first-round exit in the playoffs, Maddux signed with the San Diego Padres. He would return to the Dodgers in 2008 in a post-deadline deal to once again fortify the staff.
#2 – (2012) Acquired SS Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate for RHPs Scott McGough and Nathan Eovaldi from the Miami Marlins
With the Dodgers preparing for a second-half stretch run, Colletti took advantage of a disgruntled star in Miami to bolster the lineup. Ramirez came in and immediately made an impact although the Dodgers failed to make the postseason that year. The slugging shortstop hit .271 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 64 games. Also, left-hander Randy Choate came with Ramirez and gave the bullpen a lefty to use late in the games.
Ramirez’s bigger came last season when he hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs in 86 games to lead the Dodgers to the playoffs after being in last place. Nathan Eovaldi has developed into a decent starting pitcher that will improve but Ramirez has more than provided his worth.
#1 – (2008) Acquired OF Manny Ramirez in three-team trade for 3B Andy LaRoche and RHP Bryan Morris from the Boston Red Sox
In what became one of the greatest deadline deals in recent memory, the Dodgers used the Boston Red Sox issues with Manny Ramirez as a perfect way to acquire a big bat for essentially nothing. Ramirez came in and put on one of the best second-half performances of all time. In 53 games, the right-handed slugger hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs and carried the Dodgers into the playoffs. He instantly became a fan favorite and his signature dreadlocks could be seen imitated throughout Dodger Stadium.
Ramirez spent parts of 2009 and 2010 with the Dodgers, with a suspension for performance enhancing drugs and a trade to the Chicago White Sox cutting into each season. His performance in the clutch in 2008 will always be remembered, especially by Dodger fans.
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