7/18/2013 11:20 A.M. ET
D-backs' all-time Top 5 in-season trades
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Will the D-backs swing a deal before the July 31 Trade Deadline? Sometimes it takes years to determine how well a team did in a trade. With the benefit of hindsight, the following are the five most successful trades in franchise history that were conducted during the regular season, according to Steve Gilbert. Agree? Disagree? Comment below:
PHOENIX -- The 2010 season was one the D-backs would just as soon forget. At least when it comes to on the field where they finished last in the National League West for the second straight year.
A pair of Trade Deadline deals the D-backs made that year, though, have helped shape the organization going forward and played a role in their bounce-back season in 2011.
In their short 16-year history, the D-backs also have been buyers several times at the Deadline and two of those deals paid immediate dividends while a third set the stage for the franchise's greatest accomplishment: the 2001 World Series.
Here's a look at the top five in-season trades in D-backs history:
July 26, 2000: D-backs receive RHP Curt Schilling from Phillies for LHP Omar Daal, RHP Nelson Figueroa, 1B Travis Lee and RHP Vicente Padilla.
Despite the trade, the D-backs still did not win the NL West in 2000, but the acquisition of Schilling would pay off in a big way in 2001 as he would win 22 games for the D-backs and be named co-MVP of the World Series.
Schilling, who along with Randy Johnson formed one of the best one-two starting combos in history, also helped the D-backs win the NL West in 2002 when he won a career-high 23 games.
July 25, 2010: D-backs receive LHP Joe Saunders, LHP Patrick Corbin, LHP Tyler Skaggs and RHP Rafael Rodriguez from Angels for RHP Dan Haren.
The D-backs were in the midst of a dismal season, but this trade would help set up their rotation for the next several years.
Arizona was able to cut its payroll by dealing Haren's contract. Saunders would help them win the NL West in 2011 and was a solid contributor in the rotation. Corbin made his big league debut in 2012 and has become the staff ace in 2013. Skaggs, who technically was the player to be named later in the deal, is 2-1 in five starts for the D-backs this season and has been ranked among the organization's top prospects.
July 8, 1999: D-backs received RHP Matt Mantei from Marlins for RHP Vladimir Nunez, RHP Brad Penny and OF Abraham Nunez.
The D-backs had made a splash in the free-agent market prior to the season but were still lacking a closer. Mantei came in and saved 22 games for Arizona and helped the D-backs win 100 games in just their second season of existence.
Mantei battled injury issues the rest of his career, but he did spend six years with the D-backs and compiled 74 saves for them.
Aug. 23, 2011: D-backs received 2B Aaron Hill and SS John McDonald from Blue Jays for 2B Kelly Johnson.
The D-backs were hanging onto a narrow lead in the NL West when they acquired Hill and McDonald. While McDonald provided above-average defense at short, Hill had an immediate impact at the plate.
Hill had an .878 on-base plus slugging for the D-backs, who won the division, and then in 2012 he followed that up with an .882 OPS while winning the Silver Slugger Award at second base.
Hill was definitely not just a rental player either as he was signed to a two-year contract after the 2011 season and then another extension prior to the start of Spring Training in 2013.
July 30, 2010: D-backs received RHP Daniel Hudson and LHP David Holmberg from White Sox for RHP Edwin Jackson.
Mired in a last-place season, the D-backs jettisoned Jackson's contract and got two quality young pitchers in return. Hudson pitched well the final few months of 2010 and he was 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 2011 to help the D-backs make the postseason.
Holmberg is still working his way through the Arizona system but is regarded as one of their top pitching prospects.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.