Monday, July 20, 2009

Will George Sherrill be Traded Now?

After the trade that sent Oscar Salazar to the Padres for relief pitcher Cla Meredith, there has been increasing speculation in the media that George Sherrill is being highly sought after and that the Orioles may trade him. The team reportedly to have strong want for him is the Angels, but also according to sources, the Cubs and Dodgers may as well among others.

For Sherrill, 32, this has been a great season for him. He has converted 20 of 23 saves, holds a 2.35 ERA, lefties only bat .125 against him right now, plus he has a strikeout to walk ratio of 35-12. Plus, he would be under control until 2011. All of this wraps up into a very valuable reliever.

The questions for the Orioles for losing Sherrill would include who would take over as closer. Likely Jim Johnson would take over considering his very solid play the last two years with Danys Baez and Cla Meredith having the setup roles. The O's would again not have a lefty specialist, though this is a problem for another day. But really, Sherrill is likely to be traded eventually, and although many fans would be upset to see a solid closer go, it may be time to try another prospect run.

But it is important that Andy MacPhail be careful with this. Sherrill is a player with real value, but he would not be as useful or as valuable as a big position player or a starting pitcher. Sherrill to some teams could be a closer, to others just a useful lefty. The latter idea won't get much value from teams, but a closer could at least land one or two solid prospects. The Angels, Dodgers, and Cubs certainly won't use him as a closer; they already have solid, dependable closers; they will want Sherrill as a lefty specialist.

Obviously the deal would target an infielder or a big starter prospect. Any deal will likely not have the results of the Bedard trade, but it could bring in someone good. But it is important for MacPhail not to waste Sherrill's value. He is a solid lefty closer, and the prospects the Orioles get should be worth their while. But if the Orioles can get a good deal for Sherrill, it should be done, even though it will hurt some Orioles fans to lose him.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

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