3) Martin Maldonado, Houston Astros
The Angels shipped Jett Bandy to the Milwaukee Brewers in the deal that landed them Martin Maldonado. What was a rather irrelevant deal at the time, turned into a great deal made by the Angels.
Maldonado had a great year for the Halos in 2017, hitting 14 home runs and winning a Gold Glove behind the plate. He never did much with the bat but was good enough, especially when he was a great defender. That success carried into 2018 where he was eventually traded to the Astros in the deal that netted the Angels Patrick Sandoval. Turning Jett Bandy into Patrick Sandoval is good business.
Sandoval has had his ups and downs but has been a staple in the Angels rotation and will continue to be as long as he remains with the club. Maldonado has had success of his own in Houston where he's been a key contributor on a winning team.
Maldonado remains the everyday catcher despite providing next to nothing offensively because of his glove and relationship with the pitching staff. Maldonado also somehow, always seems to come up with the clutch hit when Houston needs it the most. In ALCS Game 3 against the Rangers, Maldonado's two-run single against Max Scherzer gave Houston a 3-0 lead. They held on for the win that night to remain alive in the series.
Both the Angels and Astros did well in this trade. Houston has the trophies to back it up, but Sandoval being a mainstay in the rotation is not a bad thing when all they gave up was a light-hitting catcher.