Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski takes on the tricky question of whether to exchange potential for proven talent on the trade market in his interesting column “Gamble tomorrow for today? That’s the decision GMs must make.“
More after the jump.
While Posnanski focuses primarily on trade-deadline maneuvering, he mentions the Bedard deal to demonstrate that “it’s a high-risk game trading away prospects.”
Before last season, the Seattle Mariners, fresh off a fluky 88-win season, felt like they were one pitcher away from being a World Series contender. They traded for overpowering Orioles’ lefty Erik Bedard. Unfortunately, Bedard got hurt and the Mariners were actually quite awful — they would end up losing 101 games — and the players they traded include blossoming star Adam Jones and effective closer George Sherill.
In Baltimore, the great trade debate is almost guaranteed to include discussion of the 1996 trade deadline when the O’s, under Peter Angelos’ guidance, kept the likes of David Wells and Bobby Bonilla in town rather than trade away proven talent for prospects.
The O’s rallied for a Wild Card berth in ’96 (that’s a positive), but the free-agent, roto-ball strategy of the late-’90s left the minor league cupboard bare and obscured the traditional organizational focus on player development (that’s a negative).
Indeed, the trade game is a high-risk contest. Thankfully, the O’s have played their hand well of late.