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Moose Milligan

Davis vs. Davis

Which Davis move was the worst for the history of this franchise?  

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  1. 1. Which Davis move was the worst for the history of this franchise?

    • Glenn Davis trade. Schilling, Finley, Harnisch to the Astros for Glenn Davis, January 10th, 1991
    • Chris Davis re-signing. 7 years/161 million


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Thinking about this in @Sports Guy's choose one thread:

There are two absolutely atrocious franchise altering deals that this franchise has made.  I'm probably missing another obvious one like the Eddie Murray deal.  While that deal was bad, I don't think it comes close to the Chris Davis contract and the Glenn Davis trade.

The Orioles traded Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley to the Astros for Glenn Davis before the 1991 season.  Davis was a tremendous flop, could never stay healthy while Curt Schilling went on to a borderline HoF career, Steve Finley hit 300 homers and stole 300 bases, won Gold Gloves and Harnisch ended up being a very solid pitcher.

I don't think anyone could have predicted back then that those three would go on to reach the heights that they did.  Now I was 9 when the Orioles traded for Glenn Davis, I remember being excited about it.  I'm not sure what older and more sophisticated fans were thinking.

I don't need to re-hash what a disaster the Chris Davis contract has been.  The issue here for me is that we can see what Schilling, Finley and Harnisch did over their careers and while they might not have been able to replicate those careers in Baltimore, it's easier to think that they could have done so.

With the Davis contract, the "what if's" become a lot more murkier.  If we let Davis walk, do we re-sign Machado?   What else could that money have been spent on?  What would the roster look like today?  It's a lot harder to say.

So Glenn Davis vs. Chris Davis.  Which was the worst in the history of this franchise?

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Thinking about it a little more:

The Orioles were not good when they traded for Glenn Davis.  They were coming off a 76 win 1990 season but there was some reason for optimism.  1989 had been great and with Ben McDonald and Mussina in the wings, there was some young talent to look forward to.  If they don't trade for Davis and keep Schilling, Finley and Harnisch, they might not be as bad in 1991.  And in 1992, they could have won more than the 89 games that they won.  The whole 1990s probably looks a lot different for this franchise, including the playoff years of 1996 and 1997.

I'm 50/50 on this one, honestly.  I can see it both ways.

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I find this hard to answer today.  As we are still living one today, I know there is a bias towards this current Davis blunder.  

But both will clearly go down as some of the worst moves around.

 

 

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The honest truth is that Davis' contract, while miserable to watch how it has unfolded, did not really prevent us from winning a WS. Those post Davis contract teams were not set up to succeed long term or even at the time. The farm system was terrible and the ML pitching was missing more pieces than money could feasibly have bought even without the Davis contract. Also, and although i'm positive some will disagree, Schilling is a completely deranged lunatic whose stain I wouldn't want on this franchise. At least Davis is a nice guy.

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7 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

It’s easily Chris Davis for me.  It’s not like we would have developed Schilling or waited long enough for him to become good.

That's where I am.   Schilling didn't make it in Houston, what makes anyone think he would have made it here? 

And we were able to recover from the Glenn Davis deal and still be one of the best teams in baseball for two seasons, five years later.

We will be hitting the 5 year anniversary of the Chris Davis deal and -- spoiler alert -- we will not be one of the best teams in baseball on that anniversary.

 

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7 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

It’s easily Chris Davis for me.  It’s not like we would have developed Schilling or waited long enough for him to become good.

I'm not sure I agree here.  They developed Mussina just fine, but he was pretty polished coming out of Stanford.  Gregg Olson was a high pick that was fantastic.  Ben McDonald didn't turn out to be the guy anyone thought he would be, but he was still effective.  Harnisch had improved from 1989 to 1990.

I don't think Schilling was regarded in that class of those first three guys.  I don't know if they would have developed Schilling to what he became but I think he'd have had a chance to become good here.  He was good in 1990, albeit in a small sample size.

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1 minute ago, SteveA said:

That's where I am.   Schilling didn't make it in Houston, what makes anyone think he would have made it here? 

And we were able to recover from the Glenn Davis deal and still be one of the best teams in baseball for two seasons, five years later.

We will be hitting the 5 year anniversary of the Chris Davis deal and -- spoiler alert -- we will not be one of the best teams in baseball on that anniversary.

 

Schilling wasn't terrible in Houston the one year he was there.  3.81 ERA, 2.87 FIP.  

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I voted Glenn, but honestly didn't think through SG's point of likely failed development.  I still think its Glenn though.  We could have been a much different team heading into the mid 90s.  The Chris Davis contract shouldn't be as big of a deal as it is.  In modern MLB, you've got to be able to mitigate or fix these mistakes, and be willing to eat all/some of the costs. 

 

While the contract itself was a disaster and a waste (I think most said that at the time), the team should have moved on in any direction at this point but we are a cheap, poorly run franchise who values staying afloat rather than building a competitive team.  

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4 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

Schilling wasn't terrible in Houston the one year he was there.  3.81 ERA, 2.87 FIP.  

No but it was short lived.  He didn’t really become the obvious HOF pitcher (it’s absurd he isn’t in) until his late 20s.

Finley was good but you don’t regret losing him or Harnisch.  
 

And let’s not forget, Glenn Davis was really good for several years before we got him.

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10 minutes ago, LTO's said:

The honest truth is that Davis' contract, while miserable to watch how it has unfolded, did not really prevent us from winning a WS. Those post Davis contract teams were not set up to succeed long term or even at the time. The farm system was terrible and the ML pitching was missing more pieces than money could feasibly have bought even without the Davis contract. Also, and although i'm positive some will disagree, Schilling is a completely deranged lunatic whose stain I wouldn't want on this franchise. At least Davis is a nice guy.

I don't think Schilling is a deranged lunatic.  He has some unpopular opinions that he does a poor job of expressing.  IMO, a deranged lunatic is someone who's dangerous to himself and others in society, I don't see Schilling being that guy.

That said, I'd gladly have whatever "stain" Schilling has over Davis.  I'd take 26 Ty Cobbs (cue @DrungoHazewood "He wasn't that bad of a guy!  The Al Stump book was lies!") on this team if it meant we would win.

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4 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

No but it was short lived.  He didn’t really become the obvious HOF pitcher (it’s absurd he isn’t in) until his late 20s.

Finley was good but you don’t regret losing him or Harnisch.  
 

And let’s not forget, Glenn Davis was really good for several years before we got him.

I understand.  I just think he was decent here in 1990 and decent in Houston in 1991, I'm not sure why he wasn't more highly regarded by both teams.  I agree he wasn't an obvious HoFer until his late 20s.  

I think Finley was great.  An OF of Brady, Devo and Finley in the 90s would have been borderline elite defensively.  But he, too, really didn't kick into gear until his late 20s and early 30s.  And while I don't think he was ever named in the Mitchell report, it wouldn't have surprised me if he was using.

Glenn Davis was very good, probably tied with Will Clark and Jack Clark as the preeminent slugging first baseman in the NL in the late 80s.   

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Glenn Davis.

I'm not sure how much damage the Chris Davis contract has actually done to the franchise.

Assuming that Roch was right when he said the Davis money wouldn't have been spent elsewhere has having Davis on the team turned a playoff team into an also ran?

The 2016 team made the playoffs and Davis was pretty good.  In fact without Davis that team might not make the wildcard game.

Davis was bad but not terrible in 2017 and the team finished 12 games under 500.  I don't think replacing Davis with Cruz turns that into a playoff team.

Since then the team has been terrible and you could replace Davis with Trout and they would still be terrible.

Now maybe those early 90's teams don't go even without the Davis trade, but maybe they do. 

I know the current O's would still have to go through a rebuild even without the Davis contract weighing them down.

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