Which MLB trades stand out as the all-time best in the history of the sport?
We here at FanSided have spent the past two weeks heavily covering MLB trades and the trade deadline. Two weeks ago, we gave you each team’s best trade ever. Last week, we were specifically focusing on trades that went down at the annual trade deadline. Different criteria went into determining the trades for each of those posts. When it came to breaking down the best trade in each franchise’s history, an effort was made to account for the long-term impact on the team. Deadline trades can be ranked strictly on single-season impact.
With that established, we are back for round three and attempting to marry both concepts and give a conclusive top-25 list covering all the big trades that have been made in MLB history. As we go through this list, we will touch on blockbuster, franchise-altering moves and some of the biggest rentals in MLB history. There is value in both types of trade, especially if it leads to a playoff berth, or even better, a World Series title. So, here we go. These are the 25-best trades in MLB history. Apologies in advance to anyone forced to confront painful memories.
25. Andrew Miller to the Indians, 2016
- Indians get: Andrew Miller
- Yankees get: Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, J.P. Feyereisen
Left-handed relief ace Andrew Miller has been a part of two major deadline deals that shaped the postseason picture. In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles traded for him to bolster their already strong bullpen. Miller responded by posting a 1.35 ERA and 15.3 K/9 in 23 games for the O’s as they won their first division title since the late 1990s.
Ultimately, the Orioles came up short of the World Series, but not before Miller threw 7.1 shutout innings with only one hit allowed. He signed with the New York Yankees after that run to give himself a chance to close. With the Yankees struggling at the deadline in 2016, Brian Cashman flipped him for a massive return that included Clint Frazier, who is already in contributing to a playoff run this season.
Miller is the reason the Cleveland Indians went to the World Series in 2016. With their rotation decimated by injuries, Terry Francona rode Miller like no reliever has ever been ridden in the playoffs. He threw 11.2 innings on the AL side of the playoff bracket with 21 strikeouts and zero runs allowed.
By the time Game 7 of the World Series rolled around, Miller was spent by the heavy workload. He allowed three runs in the World Series, the first runs he had allowed in an epic start to his playoff career. In 27.2 career innings in the playoffs, Miller has a 0.98 ERA and has struck out 40 while giving up only 13 hits.