With Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui injured, the Yankees needed a productive bat in the outfield. In exchange for four minor league prospects, the Yankees grabbed Abreu, who batted .330 with a .507 slugging percentage after the trade.
2 of 22John Iacono/SI
Maddux went 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA after being traded to Los Angeles for Cesar Izturis and helped land the NL Wild Card spot, pitching the Dodgers to a 4-2 win in the season's second-to-last game to clinch a playoff berth.
3 of 22David E. Klutho/SI
The Astros pulled the trigger on this deal early, grabbing the cream of the trading crop from Kansas City on June 24. Beltran helped steer the Astros to their first playoff series win in franchise history and in 12 postseason games batted .435 with eight homers. Beltran tied or bested six NL postseason records, enticing the Mets to sign him to a seven-year/$119 million contract in the offseason. Closer Octavio Dotel went to Oakland as part of this three-team trade.
4 of 22Robert Beck/SI
Finley's glove and bat helped the Dodgers grab the NL West title, and it only cost L.A. three minor leaguers -- Koyie Hill, Bill Murphy and Reggie Abercrombie. Finley picked up his fifth Gold Glove and hit 13 homers for the Dodgers. In the second-to-last game of the season, Finley belted a grand slam to cap off a seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Giants and clinch the NL West.
5 of 22Al Tielemans/SI
A blockbuster, four-team deal sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs and brought shortstop Orlando Cabrera to Boston. It would be Cabrera who would have the greatest impact on his new team as he hit .294 and solidified the Red Sox's weak defensive infield. Against the Yankees in the ALCS, Cabrera hit .379 with an OBP of .424 as Boston won the AL pennant and went on to win the World Series.
6 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
Boone failed to live up to the hype in the Bronx, hitting only .254. His playoff performance was, for the most part, abysmal -- he hit .200 vs. the Twins in the ALDS and .176 vs. the Red Sox, but one at-bat changed all that. Game 7, bottom of the 11th, facing knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, Boone hit a monstrous solo shot to left field to oust the Red Sox and keep the curse intact for another year. So the Yankees got a World Series trip while the Reds got minor leaguers Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning.
7 of 22David E. Klutho/SI
The Cubs were 47-47 at the break and six games back in the wild-card race. They went 41-27 the rest of the way and won the NL Central, thanks largely to a trade with the Pirates that brought Ramirez (15 homers) and Kenny Lofton (.381 OBP) to Wrigley Field. Before Ramirez arrived, the Cubs had used 97 different third basemen since 1973.
8 of 22AP
Before July 26 the A's were 59-43. After acquiring Durham, they went 44-16 to edge out the Angels for the AL West crown. Durham slugged .457 down the stretch for Oakland and batted .333 with a .417 OBP against the Twins in the ALDS.
9 of 22John W. McDonough/SI
Lofton gave the Giants a legitimate leadoff hitter (.353 OBP) and helped them beat out the Dodgers for the NL wild card and reach the World Series for the first time since 1989. The Giants gave the White Sox two pitchers -- Felix Diaz and Ryan Meaux -- in exchange for Lofton.
10 of 22David E. Klutho/SI
Rolen replaced Placido Polanco (who went to Philly along with Bud Smith and Mike Timlin) at the hot corner and cemented the big three (Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols and Rolen) in the middle of the St. Louis lineup. In 2004 all three players made strong cases for league MVP honors as the Cardinals won the NL pennant.
11 of 22V.J. Lovero/SI
The A's gave up three nobodies for Dye, who stepped into the cleanup spot behind AL MVP Jason Giambi. Dye batted .297 with 13 home runs and 59 RBis in 61 games for Oakland, which ran away with the wild card with 102 wins.
12 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
Justice added another powerful bat (.305, 20 HRs) to a struggling Yankees club that only won 87 games. In the ALCS, Justice drove in eight runs against the Mariners to earn MVP honors and propel the Yankees to their third straight World Series title. The deal paid off even though the Yankees gave up two talented young pitchers (Jake Westbrook and Zach Day) for Justice.
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The White Sox picked up Johnson to improve their defense but also got a potent bat as C.J. hit .326 with 10 home runs. Chicago beat out Cleveland for its first AL Central title since 1994. DH Harold Baines also came along in the trade that saw Miguel Felix, Juan Figueroa, and Jason Larkman go to the Orioles.
14 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
Schilling joined Randy Johnson atop the D'backs' rotation but struggled in the short term, going 5-6 in 2000. In 2001, however, Schilling went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA and finished second to Johnson in Cy Young voting. Schilling went 4-0 in the postseason with three complete games to lead the D'backs to the championship. Of the players Arizona gave up, only right-hander Vicente Padilla proved to be useful.
15 of 22Harry How/Getty Images
Wearing Darryl Strawberry's old No. 18, Hamilton replaced clubhouse cancer Brian McRae (who went to Colorado in the trade) and went on a tear, leading the team with a .339 average. The Mets won the NL wild card by one game over the Reds and ousted the Diamondbacks in the first round. Against the Braves, Hamilton batted .353 but was stranded every time he reached base as the Mets lost in six.
16 of 22Al Tielemans/SI
After going 9-10 with the Mariners, Johnson owned the National League in the second half, posting a 10-1 mark and 1.28 ERA. The Astros won 102 games and make the playoffs but lost to the Padres in the first round and saw the Big Unit sign with Arizona in the offseason. Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama become valuable contributors for the Mariners.
17 of 22V.J. Lovero/SI
Languishing in last place, the A's sent McGwire and his salary to the Cardinals for three prospects (T.J. Matthews, Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein) who would never amount to anything. McGwire's presence eventually turned the franchise around and, along with Sammy Sosa, captivated the country during the 1998 home run race.
18 of 22John Iacono/SI
Counsell filled in well at second base, batting .299 for the regular season. He played a huge role in the Marlins' Game 7 World Series win, driving home the tying run in the ninth and scoring the winning run in the 11th. The Marlins only had to give up pitcher Mark Hutton for him.
19 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
This was before the 60-homer season became commonplace, so an aging, burly power hitter like Fielder was still considered useful at the time. Filling in as the DH, Fielder socked 13 homers in the regular season and added three more in the playoffs for the World Series champs. The price? Ruben Sierra and Matt Drews.
20 of 22Brad Mangin/SI
Bobby Bo was so happy to escape from New York that he raked for the Orioles, posting a batting line of .333-.392-.544 in 263 plate appearances. All it cost the O's was the unimpressive trio of Damon Buford, Alex Ochoa and Jimmy Williams.
21 of 22Chuck Solomon/SI
For the second time in his career, Cone joined a team in midseason and helped it reach the postseason. Cone went 9-2 in 13 starts for the Yankees and went on to become an integral piece of their late-'90s dynasty. The Blue Jays got three scrubs (Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon) in return.
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The longtime Twins closer saved 20 games for the AL East champion Red Sox down the stretch before resigning with Minnesota in the offseason. Boston didn't give up much for the rental -- right-hander Frank Rodriguez and a minor leaguer named J.J. Johnson.
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