The Los Angeles Dodgers got their start in the late 1800s … not in Los Angeles but in Brooklyn, the place they called home for decades before relocating out West in the late ’50s. Since then, the team has won six World Series championships (most recently in 1988) and has secured 23 National League pennants. Some of the Dodgers’ most treasured players spent time with the team in Brooklyn (including the legendary Jackie Robinson), but there have been plenty of stellar players pulling together amazing seasons on the West Coast as well (we’re looking at you, 2017 National League champs, among many others).
Of course, not all of these players came from the Dodgers’ farm system – trades are a fact of life (and a matter of business) for all major league baseball team. Over the years, players from other teams have become part of the Dodgers squad, just as the Dodgers have shipped players away. Let’s take a look at how the Dodgers’ trade history has helped shape the team over their 100-plus years of baseball history.
Trading in the Leagues
Since 1969, when MLB expanded and the leagues were split into two divisions each, the Los Angeles Dodgers have competed in the National League West (keep in mind that in 1994, the majors realigned into six divisions when they added NL Central to each). Currently, they share the West with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants.
Looking over the Dodgers’ 803 total trades, a majority of those have been within the National League (450 trades with NL teams, and 353 trades with AL teams), and 48 have been within the NL West.
As a team ramps up for a deep postseason run, it’s not uncommon for them to make big-name trades as the regular season winds down. While the biggest trades during the 2017 Dodgers season didn’t come from within the division, there were still big moves made – they traded with the Rangers for pitcher Yu Darvish, and with the Mets for Curtis Granderson. The team did indeed make a heavy postseason run but ultimately fell short in the World Series, falling to the Houston Astros 3-4.
Dodgers Trade Count
Out of all 30 MLB teams, the Dodgers have traded with the Philadelphia Phillies the most, accounting for 61 total transactions. Right behind the Phillies, we find the Chicago Cubs with 60 transactions, and behind them, the St. Louis Cardinals with 58. The top six, in fact, are all National League teams and include the Reds, Pirates, and Braves.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Dodgers have traded with the San Diego Padres the least (four transactions), followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks (seven) and Colorado Rockies (eight).
Some of the bigger trades in Dodgers history have come by way of teams that are not at the top of this list. Adrián González, for example, came to LA from the Boston Red Sox as a part of a massive trade deal that involved nine players. González had six prolific years with the Dodgers after the trade, earning a Silver Slugger and Golden Glove as a part of the team to go along with his 0.280 batting average and 101 homers. González was traded to Atlanta after the 2017 season, but the team released him immediately – he was then picked up by the New York Mets.
Tim Belcher was another in-season pickup that led to big dividends down the road. Belcher, who spent some time in the Oakland A’s farm system, was traded to the Dodgers in September 1987. As a part of the starting rotation, he helped the Dodgers win the World Series 4-1 against Oakland in 1988.
Some players left LA for other teams, such as Paul Konerko, who only played with the Dodgers for two seasons before departing for Cincinnati and other teams (and winning the World Series in 2005 with the White Sox). Mike Piazza is another player who spent time with the Dodgers (seven seasons) before heading to the East Coast in a trade with the Marlins, only to later string together eight years with the New York Mets and ultimately land in the Hall of Fame.
Cheer on Your Boys in Blue
Have you been a fan of the Dodgers ever since you can remember? Or are you a more recent adherent as you’ve followed the team all the way to the World Series last year? Never fear: Fanatics has a slew of amazing, authentic Dodgers gear. So before you head to Dodger Stadium, make sure you look the part as you take in a game.