Major trades in New York Yankees history

Art or Photo Credit: USA Today

Over the course of the illustrious history of the 27-time champion New York Yankees, the team has seen a number of immensely impactful trades.

From headline-making blockbuster deals to savvy under-the-radar moves, the Bombers have pieced together more championship-contending rosters than any team in history, and that trend continues to this day.

General manager Brian Cashman has made a habit of turning undervalued players into key everyday contributors and All-Star-caliber talents, but even before his tenure began the Yankees relied on big-time trades to stay on top of the game.

Here now, in chronological order, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest and most fruitful trade deals the Yankees have undertaken.

Babe Ruth

Traded from the Boston Red Sox on Dec. 26, 1919

The granddaddy of them all, this trade has gone down as perhaps the most influential deal in baseball history, sending the Red Sox and Yankees into polar opposite directions after its completion. The deal was first orchestrated on Dec. 26 as Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert purchased Ruth’s contract and included a $300,000 loan in exchange for a mortgage on Fenway Park. Ruth went on to become the greatest spectacle baseball has ever seen, bringing the Yankees four World Series championships from 1923-32.

Roger Maris

Traded from the Kansas City Athletics on Dece. 11, 1959

The legendary M&M Boys first came into existence when the Kansas City Athletics sent Maris (along with SS Joe DeMaestri and 1B Kent Hadley) to the Bombers for RF Hank Bauer, RHP Don Larsen, 1B Norm Siebern and 1B Marv Throneberry back in 1959. Maris marked his arrival in the Bronx with back-to-back MVP Awards in 1960-61, and back-to-back championships in 1961-62 alongside fellow legend Mickey Mantle.

Alex Rodriguez

Traded from the Texas Rangers on Feb. 16, 2004

Few players dominated their opponents like A-Rod did in the early 21st century, garnering 10 All-Star nods in 11 seasons from 2000-10. Rodriguez collected his first MVP Award with the Rangers in 2003, then shook the baseball world when he landed in the Bronx in exchange for infielders Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. While Rodriguez’s legacy has been marred by links to performance-enhancing drug use which led to his season-long suspension in 2014, he won two more MVPs with the Yankees in 2005 and 2007 and helped carry the Bombers to their most recent World Series championship in 2009.

Gleyber Torres

Traded from the Chicago Cubs on July 25, 2016

One of Brian Cashman’s finest strokes of genius took place when he sent impending free agent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs in exchange for OF Rashad Crawford, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Adam Warren and future All-Star shortstop Gleyber Torres back at the 2016 trade deadline. As fate would have it, Chapman became a major component of the Cubs’ curse-busting championship run that year, and ultimately signed back with the Bombers that ensuing offseason, making the trade a total windfall for the Bombers.

Giancarlo Stanton

Traded from the Miami Marlins on Dec. 11, 2017

In another move that stunned baseball fans nationwide, Stanton became the latest blockbuster acquisition by Cashman and the Yankees front office when he was traded from the Marlins in exchange for INF Jose Devers, 2B Starlin Castro and RHP Jorge Guzman during the 2017-18 offseason. Stanton was the reigning MVP that year, and steadily improved his game each month in his debut season with the Yankees. While injuries have stalked the gargantuan slugger in recent years, Stanton’s epic performance in the 2020 playoffs showed what kind of unstoppable force he can be at the plate.

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