Trading places

This little nugget probably won’t make you feel any better about those 12 straight losing seasons that are continually thrust into our faces, but did you know that the Orioles are the fifth-best trading team of the 20th century?

I doubt that the 2000 season is included in this survey.

I received an e-mail earlier today from ACTA Sports that credits statistical consultant Doug Decatur for using “Win Shares,” a statistic developed by baseball guru Bill James to determine how many wins a player contributes to his team, to objectively rank the 306 most lopsided trades of the 20th century.

Lopsided trades are those in which the trade produced a net value of 111 future Win Shares, or 37 wins, by the players involved after the trade was made.

Here are the top five positive lopsided trades for the Orioles, including future net wins:

1988 Curt Schilling Mike Boddicker 138
1975 Ken Singleton Dave McNally 112
1928 Heinie Manush Harry Rice 75
1949 Sherm Lollar Fred Sanford 70
1955 Gus Triandos Don Larsen 69

Unfortunately, we also must revisit the five worst trades, including net future losses. And No. 1 should come as no surprise to anybody who’s been following the team over the last few decades:

1991 Glenn Davis Steve Finley 203
1935 $40,000 Bobo Newsom 71
1963 Luis Aparicio Hoyt Wilhelm 69
1954 Gil Coan Roy Sievers 65
1933 Merv Shea Rick Ferrell 60

I’ll admit that Nos. 3 and 4 in the positive category, and Nos. 4 and 5 in the negative, are completely foreign to me.

You can read more about these deals, and others around baseball, in the book Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History.

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