Hemond beats the clock to swing deal for Lefferts Lefty comes to O's for Erik Schullstrom

September 01, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. -- You have to give Roland Hemond credit -- when it comes time to deal, the man certainly knows how to play tagalong.

For the second time in less than nine months, the Orioles general manager has followed a blockbuster trade with a significant, but vastly overlooked, transaction of his own.

After using up all but 15 minutes of the last significant trading period of the season, the Orioles were able to acquire left-handed pitcher Craig Lefferts from the San Diego Padres.

The deal was made about two hours after the Oakland Athletics pulled the shocker of the year by trading Jose Canseco to the Texas Rangers for Ruben Sierra, Jeff Russell and Bobby Witt. Last December, immediately after the blockbuster between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets involving Bret Saberhagen, Hemond followed up by obtaining Storm Davis from Kansas City for Bob Melvin.

Neither trade commanded much attention beyond the immediate families of those involved, but Hemond will be satisfied if Lefferts can help the Orioles as much as Davis has.

To obtain Lefferts, the Orioles gave up minor-league pitching prospect Erik Schullstrom and a player to be named.

"We're real pleased to get Craig, who is a veteran left-hander who should bolster our staff," said Hemond. "We talked back and forth and finally got it done shortly before midnight."

Lefferts is a former reliever who was converted to a starter after the Padres acquired Randy Myers last winter. He was the losing pitcher as the Padres fell, 6-2, to the St. Louis Cardinals last night, one reason the trade was not completed until late last night. Lefferts leaves the NL with a 13-9 record and a 3.69 ERA.

Schullstrom was the Orioles' second pick in the 1990 draft (behind Mike Mussina). He was 5-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 games with Double-A Hagerstown this year, striking out 121 and walking 59 in 121 innings.

After beating the deadline to get Lefferts, neither Hemond nor manager John Oates would rule out the possibility of acquiring additional help during the season's final month.

During a lull in the trade talks yesterday, Hemond and Oates found time to decide which organizational players will be added when the roster limit is increased to 40 today. The Orioles jumped the gun in that regard, making a move that would have provided them with an additional option for postseason play, then reversing themselves.

Outfielder Luis Mercedes was recalled from Rochester while pitcher Anthony Telford, who has not seen action since joining the club Aug. 23, was optioned to Hagerstown. A few hours later, Mercedes and Telford were part of the same paperwork as he was reassigned to Hagerstown to make room on the 25-man roster for Lefferts. In addition, infielder Tommy Shields was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

The reason Mercedes and Telford went to Hagerstown rather than Rochester is that the Triple-A team's schedule is over today -- meaning the moves were made on paper only, with both players eligible to rejoin the Orioles tomorrow.

A player optioned to the minor leagues must remain 10 days -- or until the end of the season. Rochester's season does not end until Monday. The Orioles will announce their additions today.

It is possible that Lefferts will make his first start for the Orioles in California, the final day of this road trip. "But there could be vTC times," said Oates, "when having a left-handed relieve in a short series could be more important than an extra starter. We'll play it by ear."

Craig Lefferts' major-league stats

REGULAR SEASON

Year, club.... W-L... ERA.... IP.... SO... SV

1983, Chi-N... 3-4... 3.13... 89.... 60.... 1

1984, SD...... 3-4... 2.13.. 105 2/3 ... 56... 10

1985, SD...... 7-6... 3.35... 83 1/3 ... 48.... 2

1986, SD...... 9-8... 3.09.. 107 2/3 ... 72.... 4

1987, SD...... 2-2... 4.38... 51 1/3 ... 39.... 2

......SF...... 3-3... 3.23... 47 1/3 ... 18.... 4

1988, SF...... 3-8... 2.92... 92 1/3 ... 58... 11

1989, SF...... 2-4... 2.69... 107... 71... 20

1990, SD...... 7-5... 2.53... 78 2/3 ... 60... 23

1991, SD...... 1-6... 3.91... 69.... 48... 23

1992, SD..... 13-9... 3.69.. 163 1/3 ... 81.... 0

Totals....... 53-59.. 3.14.. 994 2/3 .. 611.. 100

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Year, opp..... W-L... ERA.... IP.... SO... SV

1984, Chi..... 2-0... 0.00.... 4..... 1.... 0

1987, StL..... 0-0... 0.00.... 2..... 0.... 0

1989, Chi..... 0-0... 9.00.... 1..... 2.... 0

Totals........ 2-0... 1.29.... 7..... 3.... 0

WORLD SERIES

Year, opp.... W-L... ERA... IP... SO... SV

1984, Det.... 0-0... 0.00... 6.... 7.... 1

1989, Oak.... 0-0... 3.38... 2 2/3 ... 1.... 0

Totals....... 0-0... 1.04... 8 2/3 ... 8.... 1

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.