Top 5 Best Trades in Pittsburgh Pirates History

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Mar 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates helmets and bats lay in the dugout prior to the game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

  1. July 23, 1986 — Pirates receive Bobby Bonilla from the White Sox for Jose DeLeon.

Before signing the world’s greatest contract with the New York Mets, Bobby Bonilla was part of the original outfield of dreams with the Pirates. Along with Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, Bonilla was part of maybe the greatest outfield in Pirates history and a huge piece of the Pirates return to glory in the early 90s. In his six seasons with the Pirates, Bonilla mashed 114 home runs and slashed .284/.357/.481/.838/134OPS+ and he was worth 20.3WAR.

Jose DeLeon was a fairly solid pitcher with the Pirates. From 1983 until 1986 he went 17-38 with a 4.02ERA and a 3.39FIP. He was basically a slightly below league average pitcher while in Pittsburgh. He actually saw a slight increase in his numbers while with the White Sox. His first season with the White Sox was very solid. He went 4-5 with a 2.96ERA and a 3.95FIP and in his second season, he regressed to his FIP. Going 11-12 with a 4.02ERA and a 4.46FIP. He was traded away from the White Sox after the 1987 season, while Bonilla mature into one of the game’s best hitters. This trade is a clear and huge win the Pirates.

Bobby Bonilla wasn’t the only contributor of the early 90s Pirates teams acquired via trade. Another huge piece was traded for only one season later. Which brings us to our number one trade in Pirates history…

Next: Number 1