Archive for the ‘Trades’ Category

Guthrie Gone

February 12, 2012

The Orioles have traded RHP Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for RHP Jason Hammel and RHP Matt Lindstrom.

I’m not sure about this trade. I was fine with dealing Guthrie but I was expecting a better return than this. Lindstrom is basically a dime a dozen reliever. Hes not bad and he has experience closing games but he’ll be making $3.6 million in 2012 and sports a 3.81 career ERA. He had a good year last season putting up a 3.00 ERA over 54 innings with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks. He’ll be an asset to the bullpen for sure but for a guy that doesn’t strike out many batters I feel like there was a better way to allocate that kind of money. The real “prize” of the trade however is Hammel, a guy that has a career 4.99 ERA. He started his career in Tampa Bay where he bounced between the rotation and the bullpen and struggled. He was then traded to Colorado where he was given a chance to start regularly and he responded well with two good years in 2009 and 2010 before struggling last season. He was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA over 170.1 innings with 94 strikeouts and 68 walks. Its obviously tough to pitch in Colorado so he should be better once he gets out of that environment. I think his upside is that he can be the new Jeremy Guthrie over the next two years but there is a chance that he ends up in the bullpen which would make this trade even worse. We didn’t save any money and we didn’t get any high upside prospects so I’m just confused. I would’ve preferred to hold onto Guthrie until the trade deadline if this was the best offer out there.

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More Minor Trades

January 4, 2012

The Orioles have traded 1B Brandon Snyder to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations and also traded their own cash considerations to the Oakland Athletics for OF Jai Miller.

Snyder was the Orioles 1st round draft pick in the 2005 draft. He rebounded from a disappointing start to his career by becoming one of the O’s top prospects after solid seasons from 2007-2009. Once he got to AAA he stalled out and wasn’t able to continue his development enough to stay in the majors. Last year for Norfolk he hit .261/.312/.406 with 21 doubles, a triple, 14 homeruns, and 71 RBI. He got 13 at bats for the Orioles, hitting .231. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good. At least he’ll be in a good hitting environment with the PCL and the Rangers home ballpark. This trade opens up the first base job at Norfolk for Joe Mahoney to move up from AA Bowie.

Miller is an interesting player. He plays above average defense at all three outfield positions and his on base percentage and power numbers have increased steadily over the past few years, along with his strikeouts. He had the best season of his career in 2011 but it was in the hitters haven PCL. He hit .276/.368/.588 with 24 doubles, 4 triples, 32 homeruns, 88 RBI, and 16 stolen bases over 410 AAA at bats. He’d be a nice player to stash at AAA Norfolk in case of an injury or trade but unfortunately he would have to pass through waivers to get there as hes out of options. He’ll be given a chance to make the team out of spring training and maybe a spot will open up before then. There are rumors of potential trades of Adam Jones (maybe to the Braves for SP Jair Jurjjens and prospects?) and/or Nolan Reimold (to the White Sox for SP Gavin Floyd?). I have a feeling all these minor moves are going to eventually set up some bigger transactions in the coming weeks. Only time will tell.

A Minor Trade

December 16, 2011

The Orioles have traded LHP Jarret Martin and OF Tyler Henson to the Los Angelos Dodgers for LHP Dana Eveland.

This is a confusing trade. Eveland is a guy that was a candidate to be non-tendered, where he would’ve been available to sign for free. There are also plenty of pitchers on the free agent market who profile as a fringe back end starter/long reliever like him. I guess the Orioles saw something they liked enough to give up something for him. During a cup of coffee during September call ups Eveland went 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA over 29.2 innings with 16 strikeouts and 6 walks. For AAA Albuquerque Isotopes he was 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA over 154 innings with 107 strikeouts and 61 walks. That was in the PCL, a very hitter friendly environment. Still I don’t see him as anything other than depth at AAA Norfolk or as a long reliever that can step in and start if we need him. Eveland was once a pretty highly touted prospect in Oakland’s system but has never found much success in the majors and has bounced around quite a bit over the past few years.

At least the Orioles didn’t give up much of anything. Neither of the players going to the Dodgers were even close to making my top 25 prospect list. Jarret Martin has a good fastball and might be decent if/when he moves into the bullpen but hes very wild and inconsistent. For A Delmarva this year he went 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA over 110.2 innings with 97 strikeouts and 65 walks. Henson was a fifth round pick in the 2006 draft but has never put together a great season. Hes a very good athlete but hit only .247/.313/.321 with 18 doubles, three triples, three homeruns, 36 RBI, and nine stolen bases over 449 at bats. These minor deals appear to me as Dan Duquette clearing what he considers filler so he can bring in some of his own guys into the system.

Another Trade With The Rangers

August 31, 2011

The Orioles have traded LHP Mike Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers for RHP Pedro Strop. LHP Zach Phillips has been recalled from AAA Norfolk.

Gonzalez’ value has risen steadily over the past month. For the season hes 2-2 with a 4.27 ERA over 46.1 innings with 46 strikeouts and 18 walks but he didn’t give up a run in August over 10.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and no walks. Strop is a converted shortstop with excellent raw stuff. He has a fastball in the high 90’s, a nasty splitter, and a decent slider. The problem, as usual, is control. He walks too many batters and becomes a one pitch pitcher when he falls behind in the count. He had a 3.72 ERA for the Rangers this year over 9.2 innings with 9 strikeouts and 7 walks. With AAA Round Rock he had a 3.59 ERA over 47.2 innings with 55 strikeouts and 24 walks. This is the third trade the Orioles have made with the Rangers this year after trading Koji Uehara for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis and Nick Green for the aforementioned Phillips. Phillips was 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA over 13.2 innings with 7 strikeouts and 7 walks with Norfolk since being acquired. Not a great strikeout to walk ratio but he’ll get a tryout in September to see what he can do at the major league level.

Derrek Lee To Pittsburgh

August 2, 2011

The Orioles traded 1B Derrek Lee to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Aaron Baker.

Once we traded for Chris Davis we had to create room for him to play every day and trading Lee was the way to do it. He got hot at the right time and there just happened to be a team in contention looking for an upgrade at first base so it was an easy decision to make. Lee was brought in to stabilize first base for us this year and unfortunately it didn’t work out. He was hurt and unproductive for the most part, hitting .246/.302/.404 with 15 doubles, a triple, 12 homeruns, and 41 RBI over 334 at bats. He was no Garrett Atkins but still not what we expected or needed from the position. In return we got a minor league first baseman in Baker. Hes 23 years old and will play with A+ Frederick to start but could be moved up to AA Bowie before the end of the season. He was hitting .282/.351/.469 with 21 doubles, 3 triples, 15 homeruns, and 73 RBI for the Pirates A ball team before the trade. Doesn’t seem like much of a prospect but he should provide some depth for our minors, something we lack at the moment. The real prize was getting out of the rest of Lee’s contract and opening up first base for Davis to play every day.

Koji Traded To Texas

August 2, 2011

The Orioles traded RHP Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers for RHP Tommy Hunter and 1B Chris Davis.

Koji was incredible for us this year, posting a 1.72 ERA over 47 innings with 62 strikeouts and 8 walks. Unfortunately that didn’t lead to many Oriole wins and his value is why he was traded. We got a good, although risky, return but what more can you expect from a 36 year old injury prone reliever. Tommy Hunter is probably the key to this trade. He went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA last year over 128 innings with 68 strikeouts and 33 walks. In 2009 he was 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA over 112 innings with 64 strikeouts and 33 walks. Hes still only 25 years old although is just coming back from some minor injuries. Hes a big guy with a power arm and a good curve. He could be a Jeremy Guthrie type innings eater, middle of the rotation starter. We need stability in the rotation and he hes under control through 2015. This years hes worked out of the bullpen and has a 2.93 ERA over 15.1 innings with 10 strikeouts and 5 walks. It shouldn’t take long to get him back into the starters role, he made some starts on his minor league rehab going 2-2 with a 4.99 ERA over 30.2 innings with 21 stikeouts and 4 walks between AA and AAA.

Davis is a 25 year old power hitting first baseman. I’d say hes comparable to Mark Reynolds as a hitter except he doesn’t walk nearly as much but has made up for hit with a high batting average in his minor league career. He had success with the Rangers in 2008 putting up a .880 OPS at 22 years old but struggled the next year, being sent back down to AAA after posting a .726 OPS over 391 at bats. He was awful in limited at bats last year for Texas and hadn’t done much this year either over 80 at bats. Throughout his struggles at the major league level he has consistently crushed minor league pitching. He has 118 career minor league homeruns over his six professional years and 42 major league homers. This year in AAA he hit .368/.405/.824 with 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homeruns, and 66 RBI over 193 at bats. Hes yet to get over the hump in the majors but hopefully a change of scenery and everyday at bats will help him get there. Hes supposed to be pretty good defensively and he’ll get every day at bats for the rest of the season at first base. Hes still only 25 years old and under our control through 2014. He doesn’t prohibit us from signing a big bat at first base in the offseason (Prince Fielder, etc.) as he can play left field, third base, and of course DH as well. We might break the record for most strikeouts between Davis and Reynolds but there should be some pretty impressive homeruns in there as well.

A Trade and More Transactions

July 19, 2011

The Orioles have traded INF Nick Green and cash to the Texas Rangers for LHP Zach Phillips. Phillips was added to the 40 man roster and sent to AAA Norfolk. RHP Chorye Spoone was designated for assignment. RHP Alfredo Simon was activated from the bereavement list with 2B Brian Roberts being transferred to the 60 day disabled list. 3B Josh Bell was sent back down to Norfolk.

This is just a minor trade. We have a surplus of middle infielders and could use pitching, I’m sure its the opposite for the Rangers. Nick Green was hitting for some power but was batting .208. He was signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason so its no loss. In return we got a 24 year old reliever in Phillips. He had 3 saves and a 4.43 ERA over 44.2 innings with 38 strikeouts and 21 walks for AAA Round Rock. He gets ground balls and the PCL is an extreme hitters league so the numbers probably aren’t as bad as they seem. He also had a 3.22 ERA for them last year (2.69 overall) and a 1.39 ERA in 2009. It looks like we got the better of the deal since Green won’t amount to anything and Phillips still has some potential to be a bullpen arm. Spoone was designated for assignment but I doubt he’ll be going anywhere. He has a 4.31 ERA over 62.2 innings with 44 strikeouts and 29 walks as a 25 year old in AA. Hes been better as of late but isn’t getting the ground balls he did before labrum surgery. Josh Bell returns to the Tides after just one day but at least he can say hes batting 1.000 after getting a single in his only at bat.

O’s Trade For Shortstop Hardy

December 9, 2010

The Orioles have traded RHP Jim Hoey and RHP Brett Jacobson to the Minnesota Twins for SS JJ Hardy, INF Brendan Harris, and $500,000.

Andy MacPhail strikes again. When it comes to trades, I don’t know if theres another GM in baseball that I’d rather have than him. Not only can he trade established players for a haul of prospects like he did in the Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada trades, but he can also do the opposite like he did with Mark Reynolds and now JJ Hardy. The two relievers the Orioles traded in the deal, Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson, didn’t make my top 25 prospect list and they probably would’ve slotted in somewhere between 35-40 if I went that far. Hoey had a solid season after recovering from elbow surgery. He started at AA Bowie where he went 2-0 with a 3.16 ERA over 31.1 innings with 38 strikeouts and 17 walks before getting promoted to AAA Norfolk where he was 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA over 21.1 innings with 32 strikeouts and 17 walks. The strikeout rate is great but the walks are high and he’ll be 28 years old entering the 2011 season, not to mention he was terrible in ML stints in 2006 and 2007 with a 10.24 and 7.30 ERA respectively over 34.1 innings. Jacobson was who we got from the Detroit Tigers when we traded them Aubrey Huff near the end of the 2009 season. He had a good season with A+ Frederick, going 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA over 71 innings with 67 strikeouts and 24 walks but was repeating the league after pitching to a 6.30 ERA in 2009 and is old for the level at 24 years old. Each guy has a chance to be useful at the big league level but are more likely not to have impact at all.

The Orioles won’t lose any sleep over trading the relievers, especially not for our new starting shortstop in Hardy. After putting up with Cesar Izturis’ dismal offensive production (and it was offensive..), the O’s are getting a guy that is above average with the bat for the position. Hardy hit .268/.320/.394 with 19 doubles, 3 triples, 6 homeruns, and 38 RBI last year for the Twins but missed a couple months due to a bruised wrist that lingered throughout the season. Hes a power threat, having hit 26 and 24 homeruns in 2007 and 2008 for the Milwaukee Brewers respectively, and also hits alot of doubles for a shortstop (back to back years with 30 in ’07 and ’08). After those two great years Hardy had a terrible year in 2009, putting up a .659 OPS and getting demoted during the season, and was traded to the Twins in the offseason. He rebounded a little last year and should put up an OPS around .746 with the Orioles in 2011, which is his career average. Not only is he a big improvement offensively but hes also as good as Izturis with the glove, if not better. He has a very strong arm and good range. The best part is that hes only 28 years old and if I was the Orioles I would look into signing him to a contract extension, as hes currently set to hit free agency after the 2011 season. The Orioles also got Brendan Harris in the deal, who should compete with Robert Andino in spring training for the utility infielder role. The 30 year old was terrible with the bat in 2010, hitting .157/.233/.213 with 3 doubles, a homerun, and 4 RBI, but with very sporadic playing time over only 108 at bats. While hes not a great hitter hes not that bad, putting up a .701 OPS for his career average. Hes not a great fielder either but he won’t hurt you and he can play every position on the field other than catcher. Overall it was a great trade that completely revamps and improves the left side of the Orioles infield. Next we need to add a legitimate first baseman and our biggest needs going into the offseason will be filled.

Orioles Acquire Reynolds

December 6, 2010

The Orioles have traded RHP David Hernandez and RHP Kam Mickolio to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 3B Mark Reynolds.

The Orioles finally made their first real move of the offseason and its a good one. We went into the offseason needing to upgrade first base, third base, and shortstop. Third base can now be crossed off the list. Reynolds is a power hitter that plays average defense. The 27 year old hit .198/.320/.433 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, 32 homeruns, and 85 RBI in 2010 but a minor injury in September brought those numbers down a good bit. Still obviously a disappointing season for him and the Diamondbacks after he hit .260/.349/.543 with 30 doubles, a triple, 44 homeruns, and 102 RBI in 2009. The Orioles are hoping he bounces back to those levels but even if he doesn’t hes still an upgrade at the position from what we put out there in 2010. Josh Bell can continue to develop at AAA Norfolk and we finally have a 30+ homer bat for the middle of the lineup that hits lefties well. Reynolds is signed very reasonably for the next two years ($5 million for 2011, $7.5 million for 2012) with a team option for 2013 (for $11 million or a $500,000 buy out). If he bounces back to all-star level numbers than we got a steal and easily exercise the option for 2013. If not, than we decline it and didn’t have to pay him much for his time here. Reynolds and Luke Scott back to back is a scary sight for opposing pitchers.

Losing David Hernandez stings but hes still a work in progress after transitioning into a reliever. Alot of potential as a future closer or set up man with a high 90’s fastball but he still needs to improve his breaking pitch. He had a 4.31 ERA in 2010, 3.16 as a reliever. I would’ve preferred to find a way to make the trade without including Hernandez but in the end hes a reliever and they tend to be overvalued in trades. They’re also the easiest commodity to find so any time you can trade one (or two) for a legitimate power hitting third baseman you have to do it. Mickolio is another hard throwing relief pitcher but more of a project. He had a 6.37 ERA over 35.1 innings at AAA Norfolk this year. At 6’9” he has a hard time repeating his mechanics. He could be good if he puts it together but you can say that about hundreds of players. This trade is a good first step for the offseason but we can’t stop here. We need to sign a first baseman (one of Derrek Lee, Adam LaRoche, or Carlos Pena), trade for a shortstop (JJ Hardy or Jason Bartlett), re-sign Koji Uehara, and then fine tune the roster. I would expect some more announcements this week at the winter meetings.

Ohman Traded To Marlins

July 31, 2010

The Orioles traded LHP Will Ohman to the Florida Marlins for RHP Rick VandenHurk. LHP Troy Patton will be recalled from AAA Norfolk.

The Will Ohman signing just before spring training turned out to be pretty good. He impressed everyone in camp and made the club as the left handed specialist. He carried that success over into the regular season and was one of the guys we could count on in our bullpen. In 51 appearances spanning 30 innings Ohman pitched to a 3.30 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 18 walks. To sign him to a minor league contract and then flip him at the trade deadline should be considered a success no matter who we got in return. The guy we do get is Rick VandenHurk, a 25 year old right handed pitcher with some major league experience. Hes been a starter for his professional career except the two appearances he made with Florida this year. He was 8-4 with a 4.68 ERA for AAA New Orleans this season with 87 strikeouts and 40 walks over 98 innings. He had some success with the Marlins last year posting a 3-2 record and 4.30 ERA over 11 starts with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks over 58.2 innings. My guess is we got him to take a spot in AAA Norfolk’s rotation. If the need arises he could take a spot in the rotation or the bullpen. No doubt I think we’ll see him in September. His potential is probably about the same as Jason Berken’s, he could be a solid middle reliever at his best. Its nothing to get excited about but its not a bad move since we’re a million games out of the playoff race. Troy Patton will take Ohman’s spot on the roster. I’m interested to see how he does. I think he could be solid in a Mark Hendrickson type role and could take over that job next season.