Cincinnati Reds: 15 greatest MLB trade deadline deals of all-time

Scott Rolen, Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Scott Rolen, Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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George Foster, New York Mets
George Foster, New York Mets. (Photo by Stephen Green/Getty Images) /

1. George Foster becomes indispensable for the Big Red Machine

One of the greatest trades in Reds history may not have been a “deadline” deal, but an in-season trade such as the one that took place on May 29, 1971. This deal surely set things in motion for the Reds to become the most dominant team of the 1970s. George Foster was a key piece of the Big Red Machine that won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.

The former San Francisco Giants outfield was sent to Cincinnati for shortstop Frank Duffy and pitcher Vern Geishert. Foster became one of the most feared hitters in the game of baseball and helped power the Reds to back-to-back titles in 1975 and 1976.

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George Foster didn’t become a household name in the Reds’ lineup until 1975. That season, Foster slashed .300/.356/.518 with 23 homers and 78 RBIs.

While Carlton Fisk will get most of the love for his heroics in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, Foster went 2-for-6 with two RBIs at Fenway Park that evening.

Foster led the league in RBIs the following year in 1976, but his best season was the MVP campaign in 1977.

In 1977, Foster led the National League in runs scored (124), home runs (52), RBIs (149) and total bases (388). Foster had an OPS of 1.013 that season and fell just a few points shy of the Triple Crown, as Dave Parker led the league with .338 average.

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Foster had two more spectacular seasons in Cincinnati and was in the MVP conversation during 1978 and 1979. Though he was elected into the Reds Hall of Fame, Foster never was elected to make the trip to Cooperstown. His highest total on the ballot came in 1993 when he received 6.9 percent of the vote.