As we bear down on Saturday’s trading deadline, I have a few more items over at SI.com. First, I look at the Phillies acquisition of Roy Oswalt and how the team would have been better off had they simply kept Cliff Lee. Second, I look at the top-performing deadline acquisitions of the Wild Card era.
No Yankees make my top five in the latter piece, but a few pop up in honorable mention. David Cone, surprisingly, doesn’t appear at all. Looking back, Cone went 9-2 for the Yankees down the stretch that year, but he posted an underwhelming 3.82 ERA and had fewer than twice as many strikeouts as walks. The Yankees scored an average of 7.1 runs Cone’s nine wins and, over a six-start stretch from August 19 to September 13, Cone failed to make a single quality start and posted a 6.28 ERA.
Some notable additions that didn’t make my list include Cliff Lee to the Phillies last year, Jason Bay to the Red Sox in 2008, Ugueth Urbina to the Marlins in 2003, Scott Rolen to the Cardinals in 2002, Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs in 2003 (Ramirez didn’t hit all that well that year, but the Cubs did win their first postseason series since 1945 that year, and Ramirez did emerge as a star on the northside in the years that followed; Jamie Moyer going from the Red Sox to the Mariners in 1996 was another deadline deal that paid off for years to follow, ditto Jason Schmidt to the Giants in 2001). Two notable performances that didn’t result in playoff berths were Cliff Floyd’s .316/.374/.561 line for the Red Sox in 2002, and Bobby Bonilla’s .333/.392/.544 line for the Orioles in 1995.