What is the best and the worst trade in Orioles history?
Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the trade that sent three young players from the Orioles -- pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch and outfielder Steve Finley -- to the Houston Astros for first baseman Glenn Davis.
At the time, I was in college and all my friends who were Orioles fans were psyched. The Orioles needed power, and Davis, who wasn’t yet 30, was one of the better sluggers in the National League.
But I hated the deal. And not because I knew Davis would be plagued by injuries and bad luck in his three years with the Orioles. I just didn’t like what the Orioles had to give up to acquire him.
I thought Finley would be good for a long time -- and he was -- but I wasn’t particularly wedded to the oddball Schilling, who had the best career of the three. It was Harnisch that was untouchable in my book.
Harnisch won 11 games and posted a 4.34 ERA as a 23-year-old in 1990. I thought it was dumb to give up a young, bulldog starter with plenty of upside and two other guys for Davis.
I thought Harnisch would one day be a star -- and though he never reached the heights I had imagined, he still had a 14-season career in which he won 111 games and posted a 3.89 ERA.
Schilling, of course, became one of the best big-game pitchers of the past 50 years, and Finley was just so solid for so long.
The trade, in my opinion anyway, was the worst in Orioles history. Its mirror image, for me, was the Dec. 9, 1965, deal that brought Frank Robinson to the Orioles and sent Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson to the Cincinnati Reds.
I wasn’t born yet, but I have a friend who was a teenager at the time and said he hated the deal because he thought Robinson, a future Hall of Famer, was washed up and Pappas, who had gone 13-9 with a 2.60 ERA as a 26-year-old in 1965, was destined to be an ace.
So I guess we never really know about a trade until years later.
Well, in many cases, it’s years later. I want to know what you think are the best and the worst trades in Orioles modern-day history. My nominees are the Robinson deal and the Davis deal. But maybe I am forgetting something. Maybe you think the 2008 Erik Bedard deal to Seattle will one day be the best. Make your case.
Daily Think Special: What is the best trade and the worst trade in Orioles’ history?