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Top 5 MLB trade deadline deals ever

Metro takes a look at the greatest deadline trades in Major League Baseball history.
Yoenis Cespedes. (Photo: Getty Images)

We're just four days away from the 2017 MLB trade deadline and countless faces around the league will be shipped to new homes.

For contending teams on the cusp of a World Series run, this is a time of year that is imperative to their title hopes. One more piece acquired at the deadline could be the thing that puts them over the top. 

Then there are other teams that are in the midst of a rebuild looking to pick up a franchise player for the future. 

It always holds the promise of some big names being dealt, which is hardly uncommon. Here are the top-five trade-deadline deals in MLB history:

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5. July 31, 2015: New York Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit Tigers

Thanks to a stellar pitching staff, the Mets were somehow in the thick of the NL East race at the deadline two years ago despite an anemic offense and a 53-50 record.

A big bat was needed to anchor the lineup and the Mets managed to get just that with Yoenis Cespedes, sending Michael Fulmer to the Tigers. 

Cespedes went on a tear upon his arrival in Queens, batting .287 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 57 games, helping the Mets finish the year with a 38-22 record, enough to win the division and spark a run to their first World Series appearance since 2000. 

 

4. July 29, 2009: Philadelphia Phillies acquire Cliff Lee from Cleveland Indians

Fresh off their first World Series win since 1980, the Phillies were looking to bolster their pitching staff as they prepped for another postseason run. 

They did just that by trading for Cliff Lee, who had won the AL Cy Young Award with Cleveland in 2008. 

After going 7-4 with the Phillies in the regular season, Lee was untouchable in the postseason. In five starts, he never went less than seven innings, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA.

He helped them get to a second-straight World Series, but they fell short to the New York Yankees

 

3. July 18, 1993: Atlanta Braves acquire Fred McGriff from the San Diego Padres

When you think of the Braves teams from the 90's, you think of the fearsome pitching trio of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. 

While they were one of the most dominant teams of that era, they were ringless throughout the early part of that decade. 

In comes Fred McGriff in 1993 to give Atlanta's lineup an explosive option right at its core. He hit .310 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI in just 68 games upon his arrival to close out the 1993 season. 

The following three years saw him hit 34, 27 and 28 home runs while garnering three All-Star appearances. He also hit two home runs and knocked in six runs during the 1995 World Series against the Yankees, which was the Braves' first title since 1957.

 

2. July 26, 2000: Arizona Diamondbacks acquire Curt Schilling from Philadelphia Phillies

After eight-plus seasons as a decent top-end arm with the Phillies, Schilling was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the deadline in 2000 for Omar Daal, Nelson Figueroa, Travis Lee and Vicente Padilla

A season later, he had joined forces with Randy Johnson in Arizona and was a premier ace, going 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA. The two fueled the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001 and were co-MVPs in the process. 

Schilling was 1-0 in three starts while allowing just four runs and striking out 26 in 21.1 innings.

 

1. June 15, 1964: St. Louis Cardinals acquire Lou Brock from Chicago Cubs

Prior to the 1986 season, Major League Baseball's trade deadline had been on June 23 dating back to the 1923 season. 

In 1964, one of the most lopsided trades in league history went down just over a week before the deadline when the Cardinals sent pitcher Ernie Broglio, who was battling an elbow injury at the time, to the Cubs for 24-year-old Lou Brock, a developing speedster. 

Brock put it all together upon his arrival to St. Louis, helping the Cardinals win the World Series in 1964 and again in 1967. He would go on to a Hall of Fame career, posting 3,023 hits and 938 stolen bases.