MLB Grade the Trade: The A’s trade Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman, and Bill VanBommel to the Orioles for Don Baylor, Mike Torrez, and Paul Mitchell


For the A’s

Baylor – Has a subpar 1976 (15 HR, 68 RBI, .247 BA), leaves after the season for the Angels as a free agent.

Torrez – Has a workhorse 1976 (16-12), starts 1977 with the A’s, goes 3-1, then is packaged in a deal with the Yankees for Dock Ellis, Larry Murray, and Marty Perez. Ellis is angered over the deal, sets fire to the A’s clubhouse, and is eventually traded to the Rangers. Murray hangs around for two seasons as a backup OF, Perez has a couple of seasons as a utility INF.

Mitchell – Decent 1976 as a starting pitcher (9-7), but can’t stay healthy and ends up being traded to the Mariners. Out of baseball after 1980.

For the Orioles

Jackson – Refuses to sign a contract, reports late, is very productive for 134 games (.277 avg, 27 HR, 91 RBI, career-high 28 SB’s), leaves for Yankees and the rest is epic history.

Holtzman – Goes 5-4 for the Orioles in the early part of 1976, then is packaged in a blockbuster deal with Doyle Alexander, Ellie Hendricks, and Grant Jackson going to the Yankees for Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, Rudy May, and Dave Pagan. Yankees get what amounts to a year’s worth of use out of what they got, while the Orioles’ yield mostly becomes consistent mainstays over the next seven seasons, culminating in a WS win in 1983.

VanBommel – Languishes in the Orioles farm system for two seasons before being traded, never pitches in majors.

The grade for the A’s: D No long term productivity. The A’s Had to put up with a head case in Ellis for a short while. If you ask the Orioles, they would say A for what Holtzman eventually got them.

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