Baltimore Orioles: Ten Trades We Wish Were April Fools’ Jokes
Jayson Werth never played a game for the Baltimore Orioles, while the man he was traded for didn’t appear in very many more.
In the first round of the 1997 MLB draft, the Baltimore Orioles used the 22nd overall pick to select a catcher out of Glenwood High School in Illinois named Jayson Werth. Recently retired from the game of baseball, Werth earned one trip to the All-Star game, won a World Series ring, and hit 229 home runs across 15 major league seasons. None of that with the Orioles.
After spending parts of four seasons working his way through the Baltimore farm system and hitting .228 with the Bowie Baysox (Double-A) in 2000, the Orioles traded Werth to the Toronto Blue Jays for a relief pitcher named John Bale.
Bale made just 14 appearances in Baltimore, posting a 3.04 ERA and walking 17 hitters in 26 total innings. Bale would eventually be traded to the New York Mets for Gary Matthews, who hit .253 with nine home runs in 150 career games with the Orioles.
Meanwhile, Werth was valued at 29 wins-above replacement in his career and finished in the top 20 of MVP voting four times. John Bale spent just about as many seasons playing professionally in Japan as he did in the United States.