On June 16, 1986, the Baltimore Orioles ended a 12-year relationship today when trade seemingly over-the-hill pitcher Dennis Martinez to the Montreal Expos for a player to be named later, Orioles General Manager Hank Peters said Montreal General Manager Murray Cook would give him a list of names sometime in the future, and the Orioles would pick one of them before the season is over.
The announcement came as no surprise. The Orioles have been trying to trade Martinez for almost a month and were set to release him if no deal had been worked out.
“We signed him as a boy and he leaves us as a mature and successful man,” Peters said. “You don’t want to forget the good times, and we won’t.” Martinez, left the clubhouse in tears. Martinez broke into the big leagues in 1977 and, over the next five seasons, was one of the American League’s best pitchers, going 65-43. After the 1983 season, he fought a much-publicized battle with alcoholism, but, as he was winning that, he appeared to lose something from his game.
Martinez will go on to win 100 games for Montreal over the next eight years and pitch better than he did in Baltimore. He produced a 3.06 ERA, making 3 All-Star appearances, finished 5th in Cy Young voting and lead the league with a 2.39 ERA in 1991.
Martinez will pitch for 23 seasons and win 245 games and will become the winningest pitcher among all Latin Americans.
After the trade Peters and Martinez had the following comments
“We think that a change in scenery might be good for him,” Peters said.
Martinez said he was trying to take that approach, too.
“It’s another step in my life,” he said. “It hasn’t been that easy here the last couple of years, and this is something I’m looking forward to. The Expos said they wanted me, and I’m glad to hear that. I’m not happy about leaving Baltimore . . . Baltimore has been my home.”