The Baltimore Orioles won the bidding for Glenn Davis today, acquiring the first baseman in a trade with the Houston Astros and apparently shutting off the Angels’ attempt to add power to the right side of their infield.
Davis was sent to Baltimore for pitchers Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling and outfielder Steve Finley. The Astros had been reported close to a deal in which they would have sent Davis to the Angels for first baseman Wally Joyner, but they apparently found the Orioles’ offer more appealing.
Joyner’s salary may have scared off the Astros. John McMullen is attempting to sell the team and trying to keep the 1991 payroll as low as possible. Trading Davis allowed Houston to shed his $1,985,000 salary while picking up three relatively low-priced players. Harnisch made $120,000 last season, Schilling $103,000 and Finley $125,000.
Joyner, meanwhile, made $1.75 million last season and is eligible for salary arbitration this winter.
As far as a possible three-way deal with the Orioles involving Davis, Angels publicity director Tim Mead said, “We have no talks planned with Baltimore about Glenn Davis. We have a first baseman (Joyner), a very good first baseman.”
Davis, who will be 30 in March, batted .251 last season with 22 homers and 64 RBIs. He was on the disabled list from June 25 through Aug. 29 with a strained rib-cage muscle.
The Orioles must attempt to sign Davis to a long-term deal or risk losing him after one season. He is eligible for free agency after the 1991 season and has been seeking a contract for four or five years at an average annual value in excess of $4 million.
“We are going to start immediately negotiating with Davis and his agents,” said Orioles President Larry Lucchino. “Right now, we want to celebrate the moment.”
Harnisch, a 24-year-old right-hander, was 11-11 with 4.34 ERA last season in 31 starts. Schilling, also a 24-year-old right-hander, was 1-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 35 appearances, all in relief.
Finley, who will be 25 in March, batted .256 last season with three homers, 37 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.