Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tejada Trade: Orioles Perspective

Orioles trade Miguel Tejada to Astros for Luke Scott, Troy Patton, Matt Albers, Michael Costanzo, and Dennis Safarte.

None of the 5 players the Orioles received in this deal are blue chippers. Luke Scott is nice enough player, but Troy Patton is the only one of the bunch with anything resembling All-Star potential. This trade will never do for the Orioles what trading Herschel Walker did for the Cowboys. But it's a start.

For years the Baltimore Orioles have been unable to seriously commit to either contending or rebuilding. They would go out and sign Miguel Tejada to a huge contract and surround him with Quadruple A players and bargain basement retreads. Last offseason, coming off a 70-92 record, they signed 3 middle relievers (Denys Baez, Chad Bradford, and Jamie Walker) to big contracts. Predictably they combined for an ERA of nearly 4.50, but that's not even the point. The real problem is that they were delusional enough to think that they were just a solid set-up crew away from playoff contention.

I will take the Miguel Tejada trade as an indication that the Orioles are willing to gut the whole team and start from scratch. Long overdue. They have been under .500 for 10 consecutive years. I'm sure their fanbase would tolerate another two or three years of sucking if they saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Now if they ship off Bedard, Brian Roberts, and one or two of the relievers they signed last year, they might be able to acquire a nice little nucleus of young talent to build around for a possible '11 playoff run.

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