Ten of the Biggest Late-Season MLB Waiver-Wire Pickups and Trades

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You never know what can happen in the month of August when it comes to MLB waiver-wire pickups and trades. It can be very exciting, especially if your team is involved in one of them. Sometimes a team picks up a player and it makes all the difference in the outcome of its season. Other times, not so much.

Here's a list of the 10 biggest late-season MLB waiver-wire acquisitions and trades:

10: Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillies, 2006: After spending 11 years with the Seattle Mariners, Jamie Moyer was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies for two minor-league pitchers. Moyer makes my list because had he not been sent to the Phillies, he wouldn't have a 2008 World Series ring. He was 45 years old at the time he got his ring and last pitched for the Phillies in 2010.

9: Lee Smith, New York Yankees, 1993: I have Lee Smith on this list because I'm a New York Yankees fan and you can't have a baseball list without a Yankee being on there. Just kidding. The Yankees got Lee from the Cardinals in exchange for minor-league pitcher Rich Batchelor. By the way, at the time of this deal, Smith was the all-time saves leader. It didn't help New York get to the playoffs, however, and Smith only appeared in eight games with the Yankees.

8: Rickey Henderson, Anaheim Angels, 1997: The Angels needed someone at the leadoff position, so they acquired the great Rickey Henderson in exchange for three minor-league players. The Angels were trailing the Seattle Mariners by a half game and were looking for that extra push that would help them catch the Mariners. It didn't go the way the Angels wanted and they didn't make it into the postseason. But the Mariners did and were promptly defeated by the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS.

7: Shawn Green, New York Mets, 2006: The New York Mets were looking to add another bat to their lineup when they received Shawn Green from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Triple-A pitcher Evan MacLane. The New York Mets made it as far as the NLCS but were ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

6: David Cone, Toronto Blue Jays, 1992: No top waiver-trade list would be complete without David Cone. Cone was acquired from the New York Mets in exchange for a packaged deal that included Jeff Kent. Cone was just what Toronto needed. He helped close out the regular season by allowing only four runs in 38 1/3 innings. Cone also pitched six innings in the deciding game of the 1992 World Series, giving the Blue Jays their first ever title. Not bad.

5: Alejandro Pena, Atlanta Braves, 1991: The Atlanta Braves picked up Pena from the New York Mets on Aug. 28. The Braves were in a division race with the Dodgers and Pena helped the Braves to win the division and go on to the World Series. That's where the fairytale ends. Pena was the losing pitcher in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. But, hey, it was a valiant effort and Pena was a huge reason the Braves made it as far as they did.

4: Woody Williams, St. Louis Cardinals 2001: The Cardinals were pretty much down and out when they got Williams from the San Diego Padres. After obtaining Williams, the Cardinals went 39-17 down the stretch to close out the season and clinch the wild card. They went on to the NLDS, but lost in five games to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Woody Williams was only able to pitch one game in that series.

3: Larry Walker, St. Louis Cardinals, 2004: Larry Walker helped the St. Louis Cardinals win their first pennant since 1987. Walker was acquired from the Colorado Rockies and was huge in helping the Cardinals get to the World Series. He batted .293 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in the postseason. Despite Walker's efforts, the Cardinals were swept that year in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox.

2: Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros, 1990: This may be one of the most infamous late-season trades of all time. The Houston Astros traded pitcher Larry Anderson to the Red Sox for Jeff Bagwell. As a Yankees, fan this is amusing to me. Bagwell won Rookie of the Year in 1991. In 1994, he won the NL MVP by hitting .368 with 39 homers and 116 RBIs. He played his entire 15-year career with the Astros. And what did Larry Anderson do? I have to say that Boston really got the short end of the stick on this one.

1: John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves, 1987: Can you think of a better No. 1 than this? The Atlanta Braves acquired Smoltz from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Doyle Alexander. Alexander did help the Detroit Tigers win the AL East that year, but the Tigers lost to the Twins in the ALCS.

Smoltz, on the other hand, went on to have a stellar career. He won the 1996 Cy Young and was the NLCS MVP in 1992. He also has 213 all-time wins and 3,084 strikeouts. Yeah, I think the Braves did OK there.

Dylan Davis is an avid New York Yankees fan who has been actively rooting for the Yankees since the tender age of birth. His first words were, "Let's go Yankees."

Sources:

SI.com

MLB.com

Baseball Reference.com

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