Mike Sirotka turns 48 today.
If we ever do a list of ‘worst trades in Jay history’, the David Wells for Mike Sirotka deal will be on the list, not that the White Sox got much out of it. You likely know the story, Mike Sirotka was a left-handed starter for the White Sox. From 1998 to 2000 he won 40 games for them. He had his best season in 2000 with a 15-10 record, 3.79 ERA. He didn’t strikeout a lot of guys, 5.8 per 9 but only walked 1.86.
That off-season the Jays traded David Wells (and Mike DeWitt, who was quickly traded back to the Jays) for Sirotka and 3 guys that didn’t do much in the majors (outfielder Brian Simmons did play 60 games for us, batting a big .178). Wells won 37 games the two pervious seasons for the Jays, but he was turning 38, was rather large and was a pain in the butt. Trading him for a younger lefty seemed like a good idea at the time.
Sirotka, it turned out, had a damaged shoulder and never pitched again in the majors. The Jays tried to get Bud Selig to undo the trade or make the White Sox give them another player, but Bud ruled for the White Sox. I thought that teams did physicals on players they are thinking of picking up in trade, I don’t know if the Jays did this time. It wasn’t like Wells was great for the Sox, he only made 16 starts the next year, going 5-7 with a 4.47 ERA. After that season he signed with the Yankees as a free agent.
It wasn’t a great trade for either team but the Jays had to pay Sirotka $6.8 million dollars over the next years, which was $2.45 million less than what Wells got in 2001 from the White Sox. So even though it isn’t exactly something that would be highlighted at the top of Gord Ash’s resume, it saved us some money.
None of this was Sirotka’s fault so Happy Birthday Mike. I hope it is a good one.