Minnesota sports history is filled with plenty of regrettable personnel moves. But the state's teams have also made their share of shrewd deals. As such, we are counting down our choices -- with many assists from folks on Twitter -- for the 25 best moves made via free agency, waiver claims or trades in the past 25 years of Twin Cities sports. (Note: Trades for draft picks count, but we are not including straight-up choices made in entry drafts such as Kevin Garnett or Joe Mauer). Weight was primarily given to the impact of the player or players obtained and the level of risk/boldness involved.
19 Warren Moon:
After Rich Gannon, Wade Wilson, Tommy Kramer, Sean Salisbury and Jim McMahon had their chances in the late-1980s/early-1990s, the Vikings finally got serious about a legitimate passing game. After their free agency pursuit of Scott Mitchell (thankfully) failed, they dealt third- and fourth-round picks to the Oilers for Moon. The veteran threw for nearly 8,500 yards combined in 1994 and 1995. In that second season, he had a most impressive 33 touchdown passes to go with just 14 interceptions. It was only a temporary fix, as solutions to the Vikings QB problems so often have been for the past 25 years, but it was a good one.
18 Trading Mike Miller and Randy Foye for what ended up being Ricky Rubio:
In the summer of 2009, the Wizards thought they were a few players short of serious playoff contention and the Wolves were looking to start over. The perfect trade for Minnesota ensued, whereby the essential parts were Minnesota dealing away Foye and Miller in exchange for the No. 5 pick in the 2009 draft. Foye and Miller have since moved on from Washington, which has won an average of 23 games per season since the trade. The Wolves cleared out some roster space and, of course, used the No. 5 pick on Rubio.
17 Chuck Knoblauch trade:
So much happened after Knoblauch left Minnesota that you almost forget how good he was for the Twins (.341 batting average in 1996 and .333 in 1995, for example). After 1997, however, he clearly wanted out. And the desperate-to-rebuild Twins acquired key pieces in that process in a trade with the Yankees. Pitcher Eric Milton and shortstop Cristian Guzman turned out to be the centerpieces of the deal, as both made All-Star teams and were key players in the early 2000s turnaround for the Twins.