7/24/2014 6:27 P.M. ET
Trick up their sleeve? Revisiting key Dodgers trades
Pair of deals with Red Sox highlight recent fireworks; Smith in '76 proved beneficial
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- From Manny Ramirez to Ricky Nolasco and Hanley Ramirez to the Boston Blockbuster, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti hasn't been shy about in-season trading.
With a week to go before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Dodgers have a reeling back end of the starting rotation, but they haven't made a move. They have a surplus of outfielders in the Major Leagues and second-ranked prospect Joc Pederson beating down the door at Triple-A Albuquerque, but they haven't made a move. They have bullpen issues, but they ... well, you get the point.
The Dodgers have found supply-and-demand against them in talks with clubs so far. With a second Wild Card spot available in each league, front offices are reluctant to throw in the towel this early. So there are more buyers than sellers, driving up the price for a small pool of available players.
In addition, every team the Dodgers talk to wants Pederson and/or fellow top prospects Corey Seager and Julio Urias. And not so much Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford -- unless the Dodgers eat their huge contracts.
To this point, management has resisted the temptation to move any of the top three prospects for, say, David Price. That would be the only obvious deal out there to contend with Colletti's 2008 jackpot acquisition of troubled hitting machine Ramirez.
Other than the glaring omission of a World Series, Ramirez's performance set the bar for creative Deadline dealing, as he ignited a foundering offense and turned around a city, as well as his team. Other past Dodgers deals have succeeded in various ways -- some for the long term, like Reggie Smith, others providing an immediate boost into a postseason berth, like Bill Madlock. Here are some of the best in franchise history:
1. July 31, 2008: The Dodgers received Ramirez from Red Sox and sent Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Pirates. Boston sent Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to Pittsburgh, with Jason Bay going from the Bucs to the Sox.
Ramirez hit .396 in 53 games and took the Dodgers to the playoffs, where he broke out of his "slump" and hit .500 in the NL Division Series and .533 in the NL Championship Series. Oh, what a nightmare he became when he parlayed those three months into a $45 million contract. But "Mannywood" sure was fun while it lasted.
2. May 15, 1956: The Dodgers purchased right-hander Sal Maglie from the Indians for $10,000.
This was almost as nutty as the Dodgers signing arch-villain Juan Marichal. Maglie had never taken a bat to the head of a Dodgers player, but he threw enough beanballs at them as a Giant when the crosstown rivalry was bloodthirsty, beating the Dodgers 23 times in six years. The Dodgers needed a starter in 1956, and Maglie went 13-5 with a 2.97 ERA and a no-hitter, finished second to teammate Don Newcombe for the first NL Cy Young Award, helped get the Dodgers into the World Series and went 1-1 against the Yankees, drawing the loss in Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5.
3. Aug. 31, 1985: The Dodgers received third baseman Madlock from the Pirates for players to be named. In September, Los Angeles sent outfielders R.J. Reynolds and Cecil Espy along with first baseman Sid Bream to Pittsburgh.
Madlock hit .360, filled the black hole at third base and helped the team reach the playoffs. But he couldn't do anything about Jack Clark.
4. June 15, 1976: The Dodgers received outfielder Reggie Smith in a trade with the Cardinals for Freddie Tisdale, Bob Detherage and Joe Ferguson.
There was no immediate payoff in 1976, but in his time with the Dodgers, Smith went on to three All-Star berths and played on three World Series teams, including the 1981 World Series champions.
5. Aug. 25, 2012: The Dodgers received first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto from the Red Sox in return for Ivan De Jesus, James Loney, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa.
The deal didn't get the Dodgers to the postseason that year, but it did the following year. It also earns a special honor for sheer audacity.
6. July 6, 2013: The Dodgers received Nolasco from the Marlins for pitchers Josh Wall, Steve Ames and Angel Sanchez. Season-ending surgeries for Chad Billingsley and Beckett would have been insurmountable if Nolasco hadn't stepped in and reeled off eight wins, including seven straight. The Dodgers could use another like him right now.
7. Sept. 3, 1987: The Dodgers received right-hander Tim Belcher as the player to be named later after sending southpaw Rick Honeycutt to the A's on Aug. 29.
A trade that helped both clubs reach the World Series the following year, so this one was almost like an offseason swap. Honeycutt was the veteran who made the transition to the bullpen for Oakland. Belcher was the rookie, but he quickly assumed a starting role in the loaded rotation for the Dodgers, who won it all the following year.
Other honorable mention in-season acquisitions: Steve Finley (2004), Burt Hooton (1975), Brandon League (2012), Marlon Anderson ('06), Greg Maddux ('06), George Sherrill and Ronnie Belliard ('09).
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.