Saturday, August 2, 2008

Looking Back: 2008 Orioles Trades

The Orioles went absent from this year's trade deadline, which isn't entirely surprising. Earlier, George Sherrill seemed to peak some team's interest, but MacPhail's wanting a future shortstop halted most talks. Perhaps the struggle to sign 2008 5th round pick Gregory Miclat had something to do with that (he is finalizing a deal soon, Windsor I expect a Prospect Report on him before the year ends!). But, let's take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at the Orioles trades this year and see how they worked out.
(Note: all pictures show players from their former teams)

December 11th, 2007: Orioles trade shortstop Miguel Tejada (left) to the Houston Astros for outfielder Luke Scott (middle), pitcher Dennis Sarfate (right), pitcher Matt Albers, pitcher Troy Patton, and third baseman Mike Costanzo.

The reasons: All right, I'm cheating by a month, but it mainly affected 2008. Tejada supposedly wanted out of Baltimore and his value had gone way down since two years before. Two days before he'd be named in the Mitchell Report, Tejada was traded to the Houston Astros for five players. The Orioles big land was Troy Patton, a possible future star pitcher.

Results: Often trades don't work out for both teams, but this trade seemed to. Though Patton got hurt before serious work, the Birds found usefulness in three other players. Scott has been a fan favorite as the primary left fielder, Sarfate has been a solid reliever in the new bullpen, and Albers was a solid long reliever before his season-ending injury. Despite controversies with his age and steroids, Tejada became an All-Star shortstop for the Astros. Everybody wins on this deal.

January 2, 2008: Orioles give cash to Philadelphia Phillies for centerfielder Chris Roberson.

The reasons: Don't worry if you never heard about this, Roberson was on the Phillies Triple-A club. The Orioles were trying to rebuild their farm system before the season's start, and Roberson's decent play when up in the majors briefly must have enticed MacPhail. The Phillies got cash for Roberson.

Results: Baltimore getting Adam Jones the next month would nullify the need for a future centerfielder. Though he has had decent success with the Norfolk Tides, 28-year-old Roberson isn't expected to be a big part of the Orioles future.

February 8th, 2008: Orioles trade ace Erik Bedard (left) to Seattle Mariners for outfielder Adam Jones (center), and pitchers George Sherrill (right), Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, and Kam Mickolio.

The reasons: The Orioles, still trying to rebuild the farm system with solid future prospects, were trying to deal Erik Bedard, a low paid lefty ace that wasn't happy in Baltimore. They found a suitor in the Mariners, who were looking for a top ace for a possible race in the AL West. Seattle traded their best prospect, Adam Jones, along with four other pitchers to the Orioles. Both sides seemed happy, Seattle got their ace and the Orioles got solid future players.

Results: Jones immediately began as the Orioles centerfielder, steadily improving during the year and is a big part of their future. Sherrill took the role as closer, making to the All-Star Game and as of today saving 30 games, not to mention a fan favorite with the duckbill cap. Mickolio and Tillman have shown decent progress in the minors. As for Bedard? The Orioles seemed to have a crystal ball on this one. Though Bedard is 6-4 in 15 starts, he's constantly been on the injured list and seems to be just as unfriendly in Seattle as he was in Baltimore. Big, big, big win for the Orioles. The Mariners might still get the ace in Bedard, but it looked like they blew it on this one.

July 19th, 2008: Orioles trade infielder Mike McCoy to Colorado Rockies for infielder Juan Castro.

The reasons: With the injury of Alex Cintron and the struggles of Freddie Bynum and Luis Hernandez, the Orioles were looking for a new shortstop. Knowing they weren't going to get a star in trades, MacPhail elected for the temporary fix, trading Mike McCoy for the veteran Juan Castro.

Results: Though not showing much with the bat, 36-year-old Castro is helping out with the glove, giving strong defensive help at short, which would send Bynum out of the majors. McCoy is doing well in the Rockies farm system in his short time with the Triple-A Sky Sox (I just wanted to say Sky Sox on this blog). Neither is expected to be a huge deal, but time will tell for 27-year-old McCoy.

Overall, McPhail has done a very good job so far on trades with the Orioles. These trades have landed key pieces to the Orioles system without giving up too much. But, as we always have mentioned around here, more work needs to be done before the Orioles can be back to glory days.

(Photo credits: (Jones), MLB (Bedard, Sherill, Scott, Sarfate, Castro), ESPN (Tejada), (Roberson)

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