|DUNEDIN, Fla. The Toronto Blue Jays wanted compensation
Sirotka's injured left shoulder. Instead, they got a
lecture from commissioner Bud Selig.
Selig turned down Toronto on Wednesday, ruling that the
six-player trade that sent David Wells to the Chicago White Sox for
Sirotka will stand.
With Sirotka injured and unable to pitch for the foreseeable
future, the Blue Jays asked that the deal be reworked or possibly
But in a 14-page decision, Selig bluntly told the Blue Jays,
In other words, with Sirotka's shoulder already ailing, Toronto
should have fully checked out the pitcher before making the trade
"After careful consideration of all the information before me,
I uphold the transaction and deny the Toronto club's claim for
relief," Selig said.
"Although there is a dispute about whether certain facts about
Sirotka's condition were disclosed before the clubs agreed to the
trade, the Toronto club talked directly to Sirotka about his health
on the day of the trade and believed it had the opportunity to make
the trade conditional," Selig said. "The Blue Jays never elected
to do so."
Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey said he was "quite
disappointed" by the ruling, but added there would no appeal or
Toronto general manager Gord Ash did not mention rookie White
Sox GM Ken Williams by name, then said, "to me, the most important
element is trust and the code of honor."
As for future deals, Ash said, "I can no longer accept
Dibble: Caveat emptor
From Rob Dibble's March 7
I agree with Bud Selig's decision. To the best of my knowledge, the White
Sox handed over all the available information on Mike Sirotka and his bad
shoulder -- MRIs, x-rays, etc. Both teams knew what kind of damaged goods
they were receiving at the time of the trade. Therefore, there should be no
extra compensation to the Blue Jays.
"We were not believers that the squeaky wheel got the grease,"
he said. "From now on, the Blue Jays are going to be squeaky
Said Williams: "Obviously, I'm pleased with the outcome.
"When I was engaged in conversations prior to the trade, I
never imagined we'd be at point we are today," he said at the
team's spring training camp in Tucson, Ariz.
The White Sox sent Sirotka, pitchers Kevin Beirne and Mike
Williams and outfielder Brian Simmons to Toronto for 20-game winner
Wells and pitcher Matt DeWitt.
Sirotka, 29, passed one Toronto physical, but a second test
showed a possible torn labrum. Dr. James Andrews said the pitcher
has a partial tear of the rotator cuff and a torn labrum in his
Sirotka, 15-10 last season, worked out at Toronto's camp in
Dunedin on Wednesday. After another exam Thursday, the Blue Jays
said he can start throwing on flat ground, a program that will last
about three weeks.
"The most important part to me is this: Was Mike Sirotka
injured on the Blue Jays' watch or was he injured on the White
Sox's watch?" Godfrey said. "I don't think anyone disputes
The White Sox insisted they told Toronto everything they knew
about Sirotka's shoulder before making the trade.
"We did provide them with full disclosure, and there was
nothing left to provide them, in our opinion," Williams said.
Sirotka was not the only injured player in the trade. Williams,
the minor league pitcher, also has shoulder troubles.
Before the commissioner's office got involved, the White Sox
offered to compensate Toronto for that part of the trade.
"It's unfortunate because it looks like he's going to miss the
entire season and probably looking at surgery," Blue Jays manager
Buck Martinez said of Williams.
Selig's ruling basically said the Blue Jays were responsible for
checking out the health of the players it wanted to acquire. He
used the Latin phrase for "buyer beware."
"The 'caveat emptor' rule, as developed in baseball, to which
exceptions are exceedingly rare, is meant to decrease the potential
for disputes by placing the burden on the acquiring club to seek
the medical information it feels it needs," he said.
"It is my wish and expectation that disputes such as this will
be rare, and that clubs will continue to deal with each other in
trade matters in a forthright and professional manner." Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
|Mike Sirotka, if he pitches this season, will wear a Blue Jays cap when he does.|| |
White Sox offer to rework part of disputed trade with Jays
Jayson Stark's Quick Hit
White Sox relieved after Wells deal upheld
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark gives us his take on the Mike Sirotka ruling.
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