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Happy Birthday Orlando Merced

It is Orlando Merced's 42nd birthday today. Orlando had a very nice career, playing 13 seasons in the majors. His first 6 seasons were with the Pirates, where he was second in the Rookie of the Year voting and was part of the team that lost the NL Championship Series 2 years in a row to the Atlanta Braves.

Before the 1997 season he was traded to the Jays with Carlos Garcia and Dan Plesac for Jose Silva, Brandon Cromer, Jose Pett, Mike Halperin, Abraham Nunez and Craig Wilson. The Jays hoped Garcia would be the second baseman for us for a few didn't work out.

Merced played for the Jays only for the one season. He hit .266/.352/.413 while playing not a very good RF. He hit 9 home runs and drove in 40. Which was pretty much a normal season for him. He was a left handed batter in the Lyle Overbay mold, under powered for a corner outfielder/first baseman type, but would take a walk, had a decent batting average and good on base. Unfortunately that's not really enough to make him a valuable everyday player.

After the 1997 season he left as a free agent and went on to play for the Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, Expos and Astros.