The non-waiver trading deadline was moved from June 15 to July 31 in 1986. Henderson was acquired from the Mariners along with Spike Owen on Aug. 19 of that year and largely served as a late-game defensive replacement for center fielder Tony Armas down the stretch, hitting a mere .196/.226/.314 in limited duty. He opened the postseason in a similar role, but with the Red Sox down to their final strike in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the ALCS against the Angels, he hit a game-tying home run that changed everything. The Sox rallied to win the pennant and Henderson went 10 for 23 with two more homers as the team's starting center fielder in the World Series -- until the Mets turned the tables in the 10th inning of Game 6.
2 of 11John Iacono/SI
Acquired from the Mets on Aug. 27 for a package that included rookie infielder Jeff Kent, Cone wasn't sharp in his first two Blue Jays starts, but in his next five he allowed just four runs in 38 1/3 innings (0.94 ERA, 7 2/3 IP per start). He then added two innings of scoreless relief on three days' rest on the final day of the season. Twenty days later, he threw six strong innings in the clinching game of the Jays' first world championship.
3 of 11Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI
The Twins went 22-12 after acquiring Rauch from the Diamondbacks on Aug. 28, closing a 4 1/2-game deficit in the AL Central that they erased entirely with a win over the Tigers in an epic, 12-inning one-game playoff. Along the way, Rauch went 5-1 with a 1.72 ERA and, according to Baseball Prospectus's win-expectancy based WXRL, was the fourth-most valuable Twins reliever for the entire season after just 15 2/3 innings pitched.
4 of 11Larry Goren/Icon SMI
Acquired from the Nationals as a pinch-hitter, Anderson wound up taking a share of the left-field job away from rookie Andre Ethier and hitting .400/.466/.860 in 14 starts at the position with six home runs, the most memorable being the last in a run of four solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth that tied a game against the then-second-place Padres. The Dodgers won that game in the 10th on another home run, and Anderson hit .308 as the starting left fielder in the Division Series, but the Dodgers had to settle for the wild card and were swept by the Mets in the first round.
5 of 11Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
The Mariners missed the playoffs by three games in 1996, but it was no fault of their waiver-trade additions. Dave Hollins was acquired from the Twins for a young David Ortiz, who was then in A-ball, and hit .351/.438/.479 in 113 plate appearances. That was no match for the .300/.399/.607 performance over 163 plate appearances by Whiten, who was acquired from the Braves on Aug. 14 and coincidentally had been traded for Hollins at the 1995 non-waiver deadline.
6 of 11Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Acquired from the Rockies on Aug. 6, the 37-year-old Walker not only proved that he could rake at sea level over the remainder of the regular season (.280/.393/.560), but he was a key bat in the lineup as the Cardinals won their first pennant since 1987. Walker hit .293/.379/.707 in the postseason with six home runs and 11 RBIs and was St. Louis' leading hitter in the World Series, though the Cards were swept by Manny Ramirez's Red Sox.
7 of 11V. J. Lovero/SI
The Braves had just climbed into a back-and-forth battle with the Dodgers for the NL West when they acquired Pena from the Mets on Aug. 28. Pena pitched poorly in his first game for the Braves, but then allowed just two more runs to score on his watch over his final 14 appearances, earning two wins and 11 saves along the way. According to WXRL, Pena's 19 1/3 innings for the Braves alone made him the 12th most valuable reliever in the league for the season, worth two wins in a division race the Braves won by one game. Unfortunately, he's best remembered as the losing pitcher in the epic seventh game of that year's World Series.
8 of 11Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images
The Pirates were locked in a back-and-forth battle with the Mets when they decided to send former first-round pick Moises Alou to the fading third place Expos in a package for Smith. The price might have been too high, but the lefty delivered, turning in quality starts in his first nine turns for the Bucs, including a pair of shutouts, one a 1-0 victory over the Mets on Sept. 5, as the Pirates reached the postseason for the first time in 11 years. In his 10 starts for the Pirates, Smith posted a 1.08 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 6.13 K/BB, numbers far superior to his 6-2 record over that stretch, but the Pirates' offense was already collapsing on its way to an NLCS loss to the Reds.
9 of 11Dilip Vishwanat/TSN/Icon SMI
The Cardinals were in fifth place in the NL wild-card race, five behind the Diamondbacks, and just two games over .500 when they acquired Williams from the Padres on Aug. 2. With Williams (7-1, 2.28 ERA) leading the way, they went 39-17 (.696) the rest of the way to win the wild card by three games. In his final six starts, Williams went 5-0 with an 0.94 ERA, completing half of those six starts, one of them a two-hit shutout, and lasting seven innings in each of the other three. In his one no-decision in that stretch, Williams twirled seven shutout innings in a 2-1 loss. Williams was again dominant in his Game 2 start in the Division Series against the NL West-champion Diamondbacks, but the Cardinals lost that series in five games before Williams could take another turn.
10 of 11John Iacono/SI
Both Detroit and Atlanta got exactly what they had hoped for from this infamous Aug. 12 swap. The Tigers, who had been chasing the Yankees and Blue Jays all season, won all 11 games that Alexander started after the trade, the last two coming against the Blue Jays to help secure the division title, and the Braves got a 20-year-old future Hall of Famer named John Smoltz. Included in Alexander's 11 Tiger starts were three shutouts, three other starts of at least seven innings in which he allowed a combined total of one run, 10 2/3 innings pitched in a 13-inning win over the Jays on Sept. 27, and a division-tying victory in the opening game of a season-ending sweep of Toronto that clinched the title for Detroit. But after all that the 37-year-old righty was spent and took the bookending defeats in the Tigers' five-game ALCS loss to the Twins.
11 of 11AP
Where will Manny ultimately rank on this list? Chicago acquired the mercurial Ramirez from the Dodgers as it was beginning a key 10-game trip to Cleveland, Boston and Detroit. The White Sox, Ramirez's fourth major league team, entered Tuesday night four games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central. The 38-year-old Ramirez returns to the AL after spending parts of three seasons in Los Angeles, a stay that ended on a sour note. He batted .311 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 66 games with the Dodgers this season, but was on the disabled list from July 20 to Aug. 20 with a right calf strain and missed 33 games.
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