There has been plenty of buzz around the Arizona Diamondbacks with trade rumors about multiple players involving multiple teams. Aside from a few free agent signings and the initial flurry of moves that landed the team a new shortstop in Cliff Pennington and another bullpen arm in Heath Bell, there hasn’t been the blockbuster trade that many thought would involve the D’Backs this offseason. In the wake of the recent MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville, and with the moves that the Diamondbacks made and didn’t make, it’s a good time to reflect upon some of the deals the organization has made since it’s inception in 1998.
Before we get into the meat of this article, allow me to share the two qualifying criteria. 1) The trade had to be made outside of the regular season, not during. 2) The acquisitions we’re recognizing are trades with other teams, not free agent signings.
With that, I give you the top 5 all time offseason trades made by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
5. Diamondbacks traded Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge De La Rosa and Junior Spivey to the Milwaukee Brewers for Shane Nance, Richie Sexson, and Noochie Varner on December 15, 2003.
This was a huge acquisition for Arizona and was an attempt to land a big-name player to be the future and cornerstone of the team moving forward. Richie Sexson was coming off of a 2003 season in which he hit 45 HR and 124 RBI for Milwaukee and was looked at as a future star for years to come. However, his career as a Diamondback was short- lived, as he succumbed to a season-ending shoulder injury limiting him to just 23 games in 2004. Sexson, a free agent following the 2003 season, could not come to terms on a new contract with Arizona. The team decided to give a big contract to Troy Glaus instead of Sexson who went on to sign with Seattle.
4. Diamondbacks traded Travis Fryman, Tom Martin and cash to the Cleveland Indians for Matt Williams on December 1, 1997.
The D’Backs made the biggest move of their young history landing a big-time third baseman Matt Williams. This was the team’s first big move to establish themselves in Major League Baseball as well as adding the first piece to their 2001 World Series Championship squad. Williams is looked at as one of the best players to ever wear a Diamondbacks uniform.
3. Diamondbacks traded Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith to the Oakland Athletics. Received Dan Haren and Connor Robertson on December 14, 2007.
It’s very easy to say that this particular trade backfired on the D’Backs considering the names that were shipped to Oakland in this deal. Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson have had nice careers up to this point. However, the jury is still out on this deal considering the pieces that Arizona was able to acquire in dealing Haren two and a half years later. The acquisition of current pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin help make up the organizational depth that the team is now enjoying. Skaggs and Corbin could eventually make this deal from 2007 a big win for Arizona.
2. As part of a 3-team trade, the Diamondbacks traded Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers. Arizona received Edwin Jackson from Detroit and Ian Kennedy from the New York Yankees. Additionally, Detroit sent Curtis Granderson to the New York who sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Detroit on December 8, 2009.
This is one of those rare trades that most would agree, worked out for all parties involved. It’s very rare that a two-team trade works out for both sides much less one involving three teams. All players involved, with the exception of Edwin Jackson, are currently contributing to their respective teams. Kennedy helped lead the D’Backs to an NL West Championship in 2011 and currently sits as the team’s ace heading into the 2013 season.
1. Diamondbacks traded Karim Garcia to the Detroit Tigers for Luis Gonzalez on December 28, 1998.
This is the organization’s biggest coup in franchise history. Arizona traded one-time prospect Karim Garcia for the player that became the face of the Diamondbacks’ franchise, Luis Gonzalez. No one will forget his amazing 2001 season in which he hit 57 HR and drove in 142 RBI leading Arizona to their magical World Series win over the Yankees. Arizona would eventually retire his number 20 at Chase Field in 2010. Gonzalez continues to leave his mark on the organization today as a jack of all trades offering his services as a television analyst as well as special assistant to the organization’s front office.