Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Submarine Leaves the Harbor, For Good

One of Baltimore's most reliable relievers departed the Harbor on Thursday. Chad Bradford was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later. The new player has yet to be named, but he is probably a young player that is in single or double-A.

He had pitched only 40 1/3 innings this year, but he had a very solid 2.45 ERA. He was more used by Dave Trembley as a player who could get those one or two outs. A ground ball pitcher that gave up only three home runs in two years.

Clearly this is a salary and age move. Bradford is 33, and probably still has plenty of years left due to his pitching style. Underhand throwing is a natural motion, and though submarine isn't underhand, it isn't as physically taxing. But, Bradford like many current Oriole roster players aren't going to be part of the future. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun says that the Birds will save 4.5 million in salary in all from the rest of Bradford's contract, which expires in 2009.

That said, I am going to be interested in who this player is, because the Orioles have not shown a ton of interest in dumping salary like this. The bullpen has a few issues right now, and though Bradford almost never goes beyond one inning per appearance, he was a constant in the pen for the last two seasons. If the Orioles were really trying to dump salary, they have have tried to trade Aubrey Huff and his eight million a year (it wouldn't have been good if they did trade him with his production right now). And, giving him to a division rival? Normally that never happens. But, this is all about getting the team younger, and Andy MacPhail probably didn't give up Bradford lightly.

Good luck to you Chad, you did fine for the Birds. Have fun in the Tampa sun.

(Windsor better get back from vacation soon. I have a bunch of leftover torpedoes and the Harbor's submarine is gone. I need to know what to do with them.)

(Photo credit: MLB)

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