Moreno has Angels back on track

Vladimir Guerrero joins an impressive list of superstars who switched teams in the midst of their primes.

Updated: January 12, 2004, 10:21 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Nobody saw that one coming. Perhaps we should have when Arturo Moreno became principal owner of the Anaheim Angels, yet the signing of free agent Vladimir Guerrero by the Angels caught everyone by surprise. It is Moreno's aggressive approach in the free agent market that has helped the Angels climb back into respectability in the always-tough American League West. A 22-game drop-off from 2002 to 2003 has been made good to some extent by the addition of Guerrero, Jose Guillen, Kelvim Escobar and Bartolo Colon.

Guerrero, who will be 28 in about a month, joins an impressive list of players who switched teams in the midst of their primes. Here is a sample of some of the greatest position players (no pitchers this time out) who did the same, how it came to be and what happened as a result:

Babe Ruth
Who: Boston Red Sox to New York Yankees How: cash and money loan
When: January 3, 1920
Age: 25
Back story: As is well-known, Ruth was sold by Boston to the Yankees for reasons having little to do with baseball and having everything to do with the outside interests of the owner. This was just after his first eye-opening season as an everyday player.
Immediate result: two of the greatest seasons in history and the first pennant in team history in the second year of his tenure.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

ALSO SEE