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SHUT UP AND DEAL
When baseball executives can't make trades, they offer two clich�s in defense: "Contracts have made trades virtually impossible," and "Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make." The Royals might argue with that second point. They turned down Chili Davis—who has nine more RBIs than any Royal—from the Giants for Mark Gubizca, Mark Huismann and Darryl Motley. Gubizca is 3-4 with a 4.88 ERA, Huismann was traded to Seattle for a minor league catcher, and Motley, who had the winning homer in Game 7 of the World Series, has been banished to Omaha to play with Onix Concepcion.
Speaking of trades that did happen, here are five made during the off-season that have turned out to be significant:
?1) Texas acquired Edwin Correa in a five-player deal with the White Sox. Even discounting Scott Fletcher's value as a utility infielder and the potential of second baseman Jose Mota, Correa was a steal. "He's unquestionably the best rookie pitcher in the league," says one opposing pitching coach. "He's going to be a stopper in the class of a [Roger] Clemens, or [Bret] Saberhagen."
?2) Boston got Don Baylor from the Yankees for Mike Easier. He ended the "25 guys, 25 cabs" mentality, gave the Sox righthanded power and left behind a Yankee team that is under .500 in games started by opposing lefthanders.
?3) The Mets picked up Bobby Ojeda and 20-year-old righthander John Mitchell from Boston for three players presently at Pawtucket and one on the disabled list. With his lefthanded changeup, Ojeda gives the Mets what manager Davey Johnson calls "a different wrinkle" and an 8-2 record. According to Met minor league field coordinator Darrell Johnson, Mitchell is "another Orel Hershiser."
?4) Detroit landed third baseman Darnell Coles from Seattle for pitcher Richard Monteleone (5-4, 4.66 at Calgary). Coles is second among Tiger regulars in hitting and RBIs and is becoming one of the team's best players.
The trade that received the most headlines over the winter was St. Louis sending pitcher Joaquin Andujar to Oakland for catcher Mike Heath and pitcher Tim Conroy. Andujar has pulled his hamstring almost as often as he has won, Conroy is disabled with a bad shoulder and while Heath has played well defensively, he is still climbing the stairway to .200.
WHITE AND RED SOX IN TRADE MARKET