The trade: Red Sox send closer Healthcliff Slocumb to the Mariners for pitcher Derek Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek.
How it worked out: If this isn’t the savviest trade Dan Duquette made during his tenure as Red Sox general manager, it trails only his December 1997 acquisition of Pedro Martinez from the Expos on the list. Preying on the Mariners’ desperation for bullpen help, he acquired an eventual franchise cornerstone in Varitek and a versatile future 20-game winner in Lowe for a 31-year-old closer who had a 5.79 ERA at the time of the deal. Forget that Duquette originally asked for righthander Ken Cloude instead of Lowe; this is one of the greatest deadline heists in baseball history.
The trade: Red Sox send shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and outfielder Matt Murton to the Cubs in a four-team swap that brings shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins.
How it worked out: There hasn’t been a more seismic deadline deal in Red Sox lore. Garciaparra, who won a pair of batting titles while establishing himself as a Red Sox icon in the late ‘90s, was battling a heel injury that turned him into a defensive liability, and his attitude also came into question. Recognizing that subpar defense could be the Red Sox’ downfall, general manager Theo Epstein made the bold move to acquire the energetic, dependable Cabrera as well as defensive whiz Mientkiewicz. He also made a smaller but crucial deal the same day, acquiring speedy Dave Roberts from the Dodgers for minor leaguer Henri Stanley. The result of the daring maneuvers? The end of an 86-year World Series championship drought.
The trade: Red Sox send outfielders David Murphy and Engle Beltre and pitcher Kason Gabbard to the Rangers for closer Eric Gagne.
How it worked out: Gagne, the 2003 National League Cy Young winner when he saved 55 games for the Dodgers, was supposed to bolster the bullpen. There was even talk he’d bump young closer Jonathan Papelbon into a setup role. Instead, he was a bust, putting up a 6.75 ERA in 20 regular-season appearances. He pitched just 3.1 innings in the postseason, but the Red Sox didn’t need him, breezing to a sweep of the Rockies in the World Series.
The trade: Red Sox send outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and pitcher Craig Hansen and outfielder Brandon Moss to the Pirates in a three-team deal that brought outfielder Jason Bay to Boston. The Pirates also received pitcher Bryan Morris and third baseman Andy LaRoche from the Dodgers.
How it worked out: Well for the Red Sox and Dodgers. Not so well for the Pirates. Ramirez, disruptive and eager to leave Boston after 7 ½ seasons, became a brief phenomenon in LA, hitting .396 with a 1.292 OPS for the remainder of the season. The next May, he was suspended 50 games for violating baseball’s banned substances policy. Bay proved a steady and productive successor to Ramirez in Boston, hitting 36 homers in 2009. The prospects the Pirates received in the trade didn’t pan out, though Moss has gone on to become a slugger for the A’s. He has more home runs since the deal (87) than Bay (82) or Ramirez (45).
The trade: Red Sox send pitchers Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price to the Indians for catcher Victor Martinez.
How it worked out: Martinez wasn’t with the Red Sox long – he departed for Detroit as a free agent after the 2010 season – but he was an excellent hitter and respected teammate who helped the Red Sox to the postseason in ’09. Masterson went 48-61 with a 4.23 earned-run average in six full or partial seasons with the Indians. He was traded to the Cardinals Wednesday. Hagadone remains with the Indians as a reliever, while Price has never pitched in the majors.