Throwback Thursday – Five of the Biggest Trades During the MLB Offseason (2011)

This post originally appeared on Yahoo! Sports as part of the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Since YCN closed down, I thought I would start a new weekly series here at The First Pitch where we look back on what was going on in the baseball world. 

Just because the 2011 Major League Baseball season is complete doesn’t mean that the action has to stop. As we have seen over the years, the offseason is the time for blockbuster deals to happen. What are some of the best offseason trades in recent memory?

Milwaukee Brewers acquire Zack Greinke – Dec. 19, 2010
This trade had one of the biggest impacts on the 2011 MLB pennant race. Some would say that without Greinke, the Brewers would have never won the National League Central. The Brewers didn’t acquire the former Cy Young winner for nothing. The Kansas City Royals acquired Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress and Lorenzo Cain, with Escobar having a brightest future for the upstart team.

Randy Johnson Part of Two Major Offseason Deals – 2005 and 2007
In 2005, Johnson was sent to the New York Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Big Unit was supposed to help bring the Yankees a World Series title, but he struggled with the media, and while he still won a great deal of games (34), he was sent back to the Diamondbacks nearly two years to the day that he was sent away from the west coast. Neither of the trades brought any major prospects to either team, so the fact that this future Hall of Famer was shipped around was astounding.

Braves deal Hank Aaron to Brewers – Nov. 2, 1974
Aaron was coming off a season where he hit .268 with 20 home runs and 69 RBIs, but the Braves felt the need to deal him to Milwaukee. Ironically, it was in 1960 that Aaron began his career with the Braves, when the team was located in Milwaukee.

Curt Schilling Lands in Boston in Trade that Changed History – Nov. 28, 2003
Had the Diamondbacks never traded Schilling to the Red Sox, we would have never seen the bloody sock incident, and the Red Sox might still be looking to break the Curse of the Bambino. The future Hall of Famer was sent to Boston in exchange for four players, including Jorge de la Rosa, and Brandon Lyon. Schilling finished his Boston career with 53 wins during the regular season, an 11-2 mark in the postseason, and two World Championships.

Josh Hamilton sent to Texas Rangers – Dec. 21, 2007
Hamilton, the former No. 1 pick, suffered through mental, emotional, and chemical demons before his contract was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds. Two weeks later, the Reds dealt Hamilton to the Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera, beginning the resurgence of the once promising career.