Friday, May 13, 2005


May 13th, 1971

Mike Sirotka Born

Caveat Emptor is one of the basic rules of life, and Mike Sirotka is a living example of just how important a rule to remember it can be. Following a pretty good 2000 (15-10 with a 3.79 ERA, good for 3rd in the AL) Sirotka was dealt by the White Sox to the Blue Jays for their ace David Wells (20-8, 4.11 ERA in 2000). The Sox believed their 2000 was the start of a good run and having an "ace" like Wells would push them over the top to World Series success while Toronto thought that the thirty year-old Sirotka was much more likely to be part of the next great Jays' team than the thirty eight year- old Wells.

It worked out for neither team. Wells got injured midway through the season for the White Sox, and had to go under the knife for surgery after going just 5-7 with a distinctly un-ace 4.47 ERA, while the team itself slumped to eighty three wins after winning ninety five the season before.
Toronto's end was even worse, Sirotka was discovered to have arm problems, and the Jays filed an appeal with Major League Baseball to undo the trade but were told, essentially “Sorry, caveat emptor.” Sirotka has not thrown a pitch since the 2000 season and is apparently finished as a ballplayer.

On its face, this was a good trade for both teams, a contender getting a veteran ace, an up-and-coming team getting an up-and-coming lefty. However, given the benefit of some ex post facto analysis, we can see it was in toto, a bad move all around.

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