1. Glenn Davis
There really wasn’t another choice for the top spot as the former Houston Astros first baseman acquired in exchange for pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch and outfielder Steve Finley prior to the 1991 season was the most common answer from listeners and readers when asked which Orioles didn’t live up to the hype.
Davis had hit 164 homers in his six previous seasons playing half his games in the spacious Astrodome and was the impact cleanup hitter the Orioles thought they needed to put them back in contention after the magical 1989 season and a relapse in 1990. However, a nerve injury in his neck sealed his Baltimore fate in his first spring training with the Orioles and Davis would be a shell of what he was in Houston, playing in only 185 games and hitting just .247 with 24 home runs over three injury-riddled seasons.
Davis’ poor performance alone made him an easy choice for the top choice, but the fact that the Schilling went on to win 216 major league games and Finley hit over 300 homers in 19 major league seasons easily made this the worst trade in franchise history. The Orioles thought they were getting a 30-year-old superstar in the trade and instead set the franchise back in a major way by dealing away a future No. 1 pitcher and a star outfielder.