Tuesday, January 10, 2006

January 10th, 2000

Mariners Sign Aaron Sele

The story behind this move is more than just Sele, who was coming off eighteen and nineteen win seasons and therefore a much desired commodity, picking Seattle as the place he wanted to be and signing a contract. Sele had actually agreed to a four year, twenty-nine million dollar contract with Baltimore, but O's owner Peter Angelos acting either with advice from doctors or just on his own views cancelled the deal after having concerns about Sele's health. Sele signed a two-year deal with Seattle instead and made them look smart, pitching over tw0 hundred and ten innings each year, while winning thirty-two games (against fifteen losses).

At the time, the Angelos' decision was widely criticized as owners' meddling but history actually proved him somewhat right in practice, if not in theory. Although Sele was healthy and effective his two years in Seattle, he then signed a contract with the Angels. In 2002 Sele was ineffective most of the season, and then tore his rotator cuff. He returned in mid-2003 but was even less effective. All of this doesn't necessarily mean that Angelos was right to pass on Sele (and he was definitely wrong to be sticking his nose in how the GM picks the team) but the last two years of Sele's contract (when the O's would've been paying him a combined fourteen and a half million) brought just two hundred eighty-one innings of 5.28 ERA pitching. In the end, perhaps the O's were lucky their owner decided to make himself Doctor-for-the-day.

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