4 Dodgers trade heists people don’t talk about enough

Here are a few of the most lopsided trades the Dodgers have made over the years.
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres - Game Three / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the most active teams in all of baseball for a long time when it comes to making moves. Lately, those moves have largely been huge free agent signings during offseason spending sprees, but LA has done very well for themselves on the trade market. Just this offseason, one move that has already been overshadowed was the Dodgers prying Tyler Glasnow away from the Rays (then shrewdly extending him).

Trades are a funny thing because of how often they are evaluated with the benefit of hindsight. Moves that can look like slam dunks at the time to anybody can be disasters when a lesser-known prospect thrown into the deal turns into a superstar. Overpays can look like steals a couple years down the line, and some deals end up with no winners. It is just the name of the game.

However, the Dodgers have a really good record overall when it comes to trades, especially recently, and several moves in particular that completely changed the franchise don't get talked about enough. Just don't think about the Yordan Álvarez trade too much if you value your sanity.

Here are 4 Dodgers trade heists that fans don't talk about enough

There are no firm guidelines here beyond the Dodgers ending up clearly ahead in a deal, allowing it to be considered. There are a lot of moves that could make the cut here, but we went with moves that were clear wins for the Dodgers that deserve a second look without getting too far into the weeds with things like Manny Ramirez's PED usage, etc. Here are some of the biggest trade heists in Dodgers history.

The Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade

We start off with a bang, as the deal that brought Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers completely altered the landscape of the National League when it went down at the 2021 trade deadline. The Dodgers were in a fierce battle in the National League West, and the Nationals were open for business, as their playoff window was set to close less than two years after winning the franchise's first World Series. After the trade, both Scherzer and Turner were exceedingly good, and the duo was a big reason why LA was able to get all the way to the NLCS that year.

What gets this particular move on the list isn't just how Scherzer and Turner played for the Dodgers, though. To land the duo, they had to give up propsects Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Gerardo Carrillo, and Donovan Casey. Ruiz just had his best season in the big leagues at the plate last year, but it was still just a .717 OPS campaign. Gray has a career 4.64 ERA and has some real issues with giving up homers and walks. Carrillo hasn't made it past Double-A, and Casey got DFAed at the end of last season and doesn't even have a team for the upcoming season.

Yep, that's definitely a win.

Brooklyn Dodgers trading for Pee Wee Reese

We go way back for this one, but it is a doozy of a trade. At the time, Reese was considered a very good up and coming prospect for Boston. True to form, the Red Sox managed to screw this situation up because their player-manager, Joe Cronin, essentially refused to give up his position at shortstop, despite the fact that he was long in the tooth. So, Boston shipped Reese to the then-Brooklyn Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Red Evans, outfielder Art Parks, and $150,000 in cash.

$150K was a lot of money back in 1939, but the Dodgers never regretted forking it over, as Reese would go on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers, including making 10 All-Star teams and slashing .269/.366/.377 for his career. One can only wonder what milestones he could have hit if he didn't lose three years to the military during World War II. As for Evans and Parks, Evans never played a single inning for the Red Sox or anyone else after the trade, and the same was true for Parks.

Safe to say that the Dodgers came out ahead on this one, although Cronin was surprisingly productive for another handful of seasons after the trade.

The Manny Machado trade

The worst kept secret in baseball in 2018 was that Manny Machado was going to hit free agency and was definitely not going to sign back with the Orioles. While it is somewhat weird to include a guy that only played half a season with the Dodgers on this list, the deal was huge at the time and, more importantly, the price the Dodgers paid -- even for half a season of one of the best players in baseball -- looks great a few years later.

The Dodgers sent prospects Yusniel Diaz (a top 100 prospect at the time), Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon, Zach Pop, and Breyvic Valera. Diaz turned out to be a bust and flamed out before making it to the majors with Baltimore. Kremer might end up being the best part of the deal for Baltimore after his three meh seasons in their rotation. Valera has bounced around the league and has 97 big league plate appearances to his name in his career, with Bannon seeing even less time in the majors. Pop finally found a role as a depth reliever in the big leagues, but that isn't exactly something LA is missing a whole lot at the moment.

Trading for Mookie Betts changed everything

Finally, we come to the trade that does feel a little bit like cheating because, well, everyone knows how good a move it was and the Dodgers are benefitting from it to this day. Defying all reason, the Red Sox once again had a prized player in Mookie Betts that they were unwilling to pay long-term. So, the Dodgers swooped in and made what could go down as the most impactful trade in franchise history to acquire him. It gets talked about all the time, and also still doesn't get talked about enough.

Everyone knows the Dodgers' side of this story by now. Betts is a perennial MVP candidate and is on the very short list of the best players in baseball right now. LA was more than happy to give him a massive contract extension as a result, while the other piece in the deal, David Price, got shifted to the bullpen and hasn't pitched since 2022.

Conversely, the Red Sox got Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong for their troubles. Verdugo played reasonably well for Boston, but proved to be a headache and ended getting shipped to the Yankees of all teams. Downs was formerly a highly regarded prospect, but Boston DFAed him after the 2022 season and he has bounced around the league since then. He is also currently a Yankee, ironically. Wong is at least still with the Red Sox, but a guy who posted a .673 OPS in 403 plate appearances doesn't exactly make losing a guy like Betts any better for Boston.

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