Best trades in Baltimore sports history
[Editor's note: With baseball's non-waiver trade deadline approaching Thursday afternoon, The Baltimore Sun has ranked the 10 best and 10 worst deals in Baltimore sports history. The worst trades will appear tomorrow.]
Having made dozens of trades in more than 25 years as a baseball executive, Andy MacPhail is resigned to this fact: "One moment you can be a genius and the next, an idiot."
Like most of his peers, MacPhail has been called both. But after engineering a deal, the man who served as the Orioles president of baseball operations from 2007 to 2011 said he seldom looks back.
"You're not impervious to criticism, but you can't waste energy worrying what fans think," he said. "A trade that looks good initially may not be, over time. And there will always be people to pass judgment five years after the fact."
It has been more than six years since MacPhail traded Orioles starting pitcher Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners for five players, including four-time All-Star outfielder Adam Jones and pitcher Chris Tillman, an All-Star in 2013. It was one of the most successful deals in Baltimore sports history, along with the one MacPhail swung with the Texas Rangers for slugger Chris Davis less than three years later.
Looking back at the Jones trade, MacPhail said: "There was so much uncertainty about that trade. As well-known as Adam was, he still hadn't done it at the major league level. All you can do is look in the mirror and know that you've crossed all your t's and dotted your i's and gotten as much information to ensure that a trade will work out. Either way, you've got to live with it."
Here are the 10 best trades in Baltimore sports history, as selected by The Baltimore Sun.
(Text by Mike Klingaman.)
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7. Jan. 1, 1894: The Orioles obtain outfielder Willie Keeler and first baseman Dan Brouthers from the Brooklyn Grooms for infielder Billy Shindle and outfielder George Treadway.( File photo )
It is called "one of baseball's most lopsided trades" by the Society for American Baseball Research: For a couple of throw-ins, the Orioles acquire the 21-year-old Keeler (pictured) who -- in five years here -- bats .388 and helps Baltimore to three National League pennants. Twice, the Hall of Famer leads the league in hits, and his .424 average in 1897, when he completed a 45-game hitting streak, remains the best ever by a left-handed batter.