Monday, July 20, 2009

O's Trade Salazar to Padres for Cla Meredith: Good Move By MacPhail

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has reported that the Orioles have traded reserve corner infielder Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for the righty submarine reliever Cla Meredith.

Salazar, 31, was hitting .419 (13/31) with two home runs off the bench for the Orioles. Meredith, 26, had a great start to the season but has struggled since, sporting a 4.17 ERA in 36.2 innings.

Overall, I am supportive of this deal. I understand that of the face of it, it seems as if Andy MacPhail traded a hot player off the bench for a struggling reliever. But there is more to it. The Orioles are trying to find pieces to the future. This isn't a salary issue; neither would cost much, and neither has to be a long term commitment. Had MacPhail gotten a trade offer with good prospects, then he would have taken it, but he must have felt this was the way to go.

For MacPhail, it probably was not easy trading a player like Oscar Salazar. Salazar is an all-around decent man who has shown good play off the bench and a solid clubhouse demeanour. But, this is a move that is solid. It was not needed, but it helps the team. Salazar was 31 and likely would not have continued his success long term. The fact that other teams were interested in his services was important, as he gives value to the team now. He is not a part of the Orioles future, and MacPhail had a chance to make a good deal. I feel for Salazar, and I hope him the best in San Diego, but the Orioles are trying to build for the future, and Salazar is not part of that.

In getting Cla Meredith, the O's gain a traditionally solid short reliever. He will remind a lot of Orioles fans of Chad Bradford, a righty submariner that will go one inning and rely on ground balls more than strikeouts. After being traded from the Red Sox in 2006, he has been a good reliever for the Padres, throwing a sub 4.20 ERA each of the last four seasons. He has been struggling the last couple of weeks after a big start.

He is contracted until the end of the year. So the O's can find out if the 26-year-old is worth keeping in the bullpen long term or they can just release him at the end of the year. Low risk, decent reward. Meredith will likely not be anything huge in the bullpen this season, but if Meredith does well, the Orioles can keep a solid submariner if the bullpen for a little while. Good deal from Andy MacPhail.

(Photo Credit: AP (Salazar), US Presswire (Meredith))

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