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Blockbusters Revisited: Chris Davis to Baltimore

By June 12, 2013

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We're bending the rules just a bit in this week's Blockbusters Revisited to examine a trade that certainly wasn't considered a blockbuster at the time, but it's one from two seasons ago that the Texas Rangers almost certainly wish they had back.

July 30, 2011: Texas Rangers trade 1B Chris Davis and RHP Tommy Hunter to the Baltimore Orioles for RHP Koji Uehara and $2 million.

The Rangers, needing some bullpen help for the stretch run in a pennant-winning season, dealt for Uehara, then 36, who had a 1.72 ERA in 43 games in Baltimore. The Japanese righty wasn't great in Texas that season -- 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in the regular season, and he had an awful outing in an ALDS game, giving up a hit and a three-run homer to Evan Longoria in the seventh inning of Game 2. He gave up runs in two ALCS appearances as well and was left off the World Series roster. Uehara came back to the Rangers in 2012 and had a good season, with a 1.75 ERA in 37 games, but he did spend some time on the DL with a muscle strain in his rib cage. He left the Rangers as a free agent and is now with the Boston Red Sox.

Not a great impact, and Texas gave up way too much. The Rangers apparently thought Davis was going to be one of those players who was great in Triple-A but not in the big leagues. Deciding Mitch Moreland was their future at first base, they traded Davis, who had hit 17 homers as a rookie with Texas in 2008 and 21 in his second season in 113 games, but slumped to a .238 average. He spent most of 2010 in the minors and the bulk of 2011 as well, hitting a ridiculous .368 with 24 home runs and 66 RBI in 48 games with Triple-A Round Rock. Traded to Baltimore, his career took off in 2012, when he hit .270 with 33 home runs and 85 RBI. And in 2013, he's looking like an All-Star, hitting .335 with a league-leading 20 home runs and 52 RBI in the first 64 games.

Hunter hasn't been bad, either. He was a starter in Texas -- even starting three playoff games in 2010 -- but seems to have found a home in the bullpen in Baltimore. He was 7-8 splitting time between the rotation and bullpen last season, and is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA as a setup reliever in 2013. He picked up his first career save earlier this season.

But even if this was just Davis for Uehara straight up, there's no denying the victor in this deal: Baltimore.


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