Deals That Never Happened: Part II

Yesterday, we ran through the 1996 deadline deals that went nowhere when Pat Gillick supposedly brought the deals to Peter Angelos’ desk.  Today, we address a couple more deals.  One is a trade and the other is a pretty well known free agent signing blowup.  One more thing, I was asked yesterday where these failed deals came from.  Well, I made sure to include an article that gives references to the deal, but, beyond that, these are deals based on my experience and through various contacts where I think these trades were close to being completed.  Of course, there are assumptions at play, so take it for what it is worth.

Deal #1 (LA Times / Sporting News)

Winter 1997

Orioles receive RF Shawn Green

Blue Jays receive COF Jeffrey Hammonds

As I understand how this all transpired, one of the first moves Frank Wren considered when he took the mantle from Pat Gillick was dealing promising corner outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds for equally promising Shawn Green.  It was essentially one of those old challenge trades.  Hammonds was a toolsy player who excelled when healthy.  Shawn Green was a prototypical right fielder who was more value for his power potential than the reality that he also had some great tools as well.

As mentioned in the previous post in this series, this deal hit the brakes supposedly when it went to Angelos’ desk as he wish to develop Hammonds as his own home grown talent.  Half a season later, Hammonds had not broken out and the Orioles dealt him for Willie Greene who had shown a decent bat, but completely fell apart.  The Orioles wound up releasing Greene after that half season while Hammonds put in useful seasons for the next three or four years.

What about the other side?

Shawn Green

Year Age Tm PA 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+
1993 20 TOR 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 -100
1994 21 TOR 34 1 0 0 1 0 1 8 .091 .118 .121 -38
1995 22 TOR 405 31 4 15 1 2 20 68 .288 .326 .509 115
1996 23 TOR 465 32 3 11 5 1 33 75 .280 .342 .448 99
1997 24 TOR 471 22 4 16 14 3 36 99 .287 .340 .469 110
1998 25 TOR 689 33 4 35 35 12 50 142 .278 .334 .510 117
1999 26 TOR 696 45 0 42 20 7 66 117 .309 .384 .588 144
2000 27 LAD 714 44 4 24 24 5 90 121 .269 .367 .472 116
2001 28 LAD 701 31 4 49 20 4 72 107 .297 .372 .598 154
2002 29 LAD 685 31 1 42 8 5 93 112 .285 .385 .558 154
2003 30 LAD 691 49 2 19 6 2 68 112 .280 .355 .460 116
2004 31 LAD 671 28 1 28 5 2 71 114 .266 .352 .459 113
2005 32 ARI 656 37 4 22 8 4 62 95 .286 .355 .477 114
2006 33 TOT 588 31 3 15 4 4 45 82 .277 .344 .432 95
2006 33 ARI 462 22 3 11 4 4 37 64 .283 .348 .429 95
2006 33 NYM 126 9 0 4 0 0 8 18 .257 .325 .442 97
2007 34 NYM 491 30 1 10 11 1 37 62 .291 .352 .430 103
15 Yrs 7963 445 35 328 162 52 744 1315 .283 .355 .494 120
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/30/2013.

Eight seasons.  This deal would have resolved right field for eight years.  Where the Burnitz deal was understandably a poor deal as Bonilla wound up being quite useful in the Orioles run to the playoffs, this one could have greatly changed the Orioles’ history.  Green monster 1999 to 2002 run may have enabled the team to have been more flexible in acquiring talent.  It may have opened up the front office to find useful young talent instead of having to hit up retreads.

Of course, to think Green alone would have kept this franchise from reaching the bottom of the barrel is a bit naive.  The late 90s an early 00s led this team into a dark time with respect to how the organization was being run.  Perhaps more faith in Wren could have changed things, but perhaps not.

Deal #2 (Seattle Times)

2000

Orioles agreed to terms with Aaron Sele (4y/29MM) pending a medical exam.

So the story goes that Angelos’ front office took medical exams much more seriously after Xavier Hernandez signed a contract with the Orioles on a 2 year, 2.5 MM contract, but he wound up having a tear in his rotator cuff.  Sele’s shoulder looked rough and Angelos rescinded the contract.  Sele wound up signing a 2 year deal with the Mariners for 15 MM.

Aaron Sele

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS IP ERA+ H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
1993 23 BOS 7 2 2.74 18 18 111.2 170 8.1 0.4 3.9 7.5
1994 24 BOS 8 7 3.83 22 22 143.1 131 8.8 0.8 3.8 6.6
1995 25 BOS 3 1 3.06 6 6 32.1 160 8.9 0.8 3.9 5.8
1996 26 BOS 7 11 5.32 29 29 157.1 95 11.0 0.8 3.8 7.8
1997 27 BOS 13 12 5.38 33 33 177.1 87 9.9 1.3 4.1 6.2
1998 28 TEX 19 11 4.23 33 33 212.2 113 10.1 0.6 3.6 7.1
1999 29 TEX 18 9 4.79 33 33 205.0 106 10.7 0.9 3.1 8.2
2000 30 SEA 17 10 4.51 34 34 211.2 102 9.4 0.7 3.1 5.8
2001 31 SEA 15 5 3.60 34 33 215.0 115 9.0 1.0 2.1 4.8
2002 32 ANA 8 9 4.89 26 26 160.0 91 10.7 1.2 2.8 4.6
2003 33 ANA 7 11 5.77 25 25 121.2 76 10.0 1.3 4.3 3.9
2004 34 ANA 9 4 5.05 28 24 132.0 88 11.1 1.1 3.5 3.5
2005 35 SEA 6 12 5.66 21 21 116.0 74 11.4 1.4 3.2 4.1
2006 36 LAD 8 6 4.53 28 15 103.1 100 10.5 1.0 2.6 5.0
2007 37 NYM 3 2 5.37 34 0 53.2 81 13.1 0.8 3.5 4.9
15 Yrs 148 112 4.61 404 352 2153.0 100 10.1 0.9 3.3 5.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/30/2013.

The Mariners wound up doing pretty well getting five bWAR over two years.  The Angels though wound up getting the short end as they signed Sele to a three year deal that saw him as a below replacement level pitcher (-0.3 bWAR).  So, Angelos decision wound up be the accurate one.  I am not sure the thought process was especially accurate, but you cannot argue with his concern about the medical report and Sele winding up hurting that shoulder during what would have been the third year of the Orioles’ contract.  Additionally, one has to wonder why the best deal Sele could get was a two year deal with the Mariners.

Conclusion on the Second Part of this Series

What is interesting about the moves we have heard Angelos being involved in is that he supposedly was accurate a great deal of the time.  Is this him being a reasonably intelligent man using logic or may it be him having the wrong people in control?  Maybe it is something else.  So far we have gone through five deals and really only the Shawn Green one looks like a slam dunk in retrospect.

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About the author


Jon Shepherd  

Jon Shepherd founded the Baltimore Orioles blog Camden Depot in 2007. In addition to Baltimore Orioles analysis, the blog also focuses on qualitative and quantitative approaches to assessing baseball in general as well as providing mainstream reviews and commentary on substances alleged to performance enhancing. Dr. Shepherd’s writing has been featured on ESPN, and his blog has been part of the ESPN Sweetspot Network since May 2011. He has made radio and podcast appearances for Orioles’ centered programs.


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