O’s trade Freel to Cubs for Gathright

 Gathright (left) as a Royal with teamate Estaban German

Yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles traded yet again to the Cubs, sending OF Ryan Freel to Chicago for OF Joey Gathright in return. Personally, i think this is a great move on the Orioles behlaf, as Gathright is younger, faster, and at this point, better than Freel is. Freel was obviously upset about his situation in Baltimore, saying the AL is much different than the NL, where he spent almost his whole career in Cincinatti, one with Toronto in 2001, which was a September call-up before being involved in the Ramon Hernandez trade. He said he felt that there was no role as an Oriole, thats probably true. Espically after the O’s traded for Felix Pie and signed Ty Wigginton right after acquiring Freel. To add on to the whole situation, Freel was struggling in Baltimore, hitting .133 in 15 at-bats and 1 RBI. He also struck out 4 times. And he is 33 years old, and injurys hampered him again in Baltimore, where on a freak accident, was hit in the head on a botched pick-off throw against Boston.

Gathright is the better player in this deal, and i’ll show you why. Also being on the bench in Chicago, he was hitting .214 with a stolen base. My guess is he didnt like his situation in Chicago either. He is a good player just entering his prime at 28. He is a decent average hitter, a great outfielder, and has blazing speed, and thats what attracted the Orioles. I think the O’s found their starting LF for 2009 at least. He was optioned to AAA Norfolk, but i think he will work his way up and be on the Orioles roster by the middle of the month. He has been in platoon roles his whole career, his career high in at-bats was in 2006 (383) with Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Gathright doesnt have power, only 1 career homerun, but he is a good pick-up for the O’s. He could be a diamond in the rough if he gets the right oppurtunitys like Pie and Montanez have gotten this year.

Although, this probably puts a block on Lou Montanez, who will probably go back to AAA soon because of the Gathright acquisition, and Pie will probably be on the bench, as he is stuck behind Montanez as of now on the depth charts. The reason Pie will stay up and not Montanez is because Lou has options left and Felix does not. However, this does give the Orioles one of the fastest OF’s in the league with Markakis, Jones and eventually Gathright, as Gtahright has already had 3 20+ stolen base years in six najor league seasons. Trust me, i think you will be pretty pleased with Joey when he finally arrives, as he does fit that Orioles mold, as Freel did not.

Actually, if you look at it, Freel and Gathright are very similar if you compare the stats, but Freel has 800 more at-bats than Gathright. But all in all, the Orioles made the best decision possible for them and going forward with this organizations hopeful rise back to the top.

Thats it for now, check back soon for a new article.

                                                                                                             Logan Quick


One Response

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