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

A hunch

MacPhail has said that the Brian Roberts to Cubs deal “is all but dead.” That may be, but through this offseason, when has he been forthcoming to the press? Through the Bedard trade saga, he was never very chatty with the press and why should that change now.

Maybe it is dead, or maybe he’s just sending the writers off in a different direction as he talks a few more days (or months) to make this deal. At some point during this season, I think Brian Roberts will be a Cub, just not on opening day apparently.

Roberts to Cubs pretty much dead

The birthday weekend was great but now with the season fixing to kickoff it’s time to get to it.

Ken Rosenthal says that the much much much much talked about Brian Roberts trade to Chicago Cubs is dead, with a few sidebars.

-Its very unlikely to happen before opening day

-Barring an ‘llth hour resolution’ it won’t happen.

I’m sick of seeing all the articles rehashing the same old same old with this topic. At some point during the season, Roberts needs to be traded. MacPhail can waited til next season…but Roberts has two years left on his deal so his value would be higher with more time left on his deal.

If the O’s have passed on the supposed Cubs’ deal, I’m cool with that. Sean Gallagher would be a nice pickup but the rest of the package doesn’t do much for me. Matt Murton was rumored. I’ve said before I wouldn’t mind having him and I still won’t, but he’s appears to be nothing more than a 4th outfielder. I’d take him over Jay Payton and Jay Gibbons in a heartbeat. Ronnie Cedeno flopped in his debut with the Cubs and might be a slight upgrade over Luis Hernandez and Brandon Fahey. Sean Marshall is a streaky young pitcher who the O’s apparently like and Donald Veal…eh…

So the deal is basically Roberts for a potential good young pitcher in Gallagher, two players who’ve flopped with the Cubs with Cedeno and Murton, and either a streaky pitcher who hasn’t done much yet in majors with Marshall or a pitching prospect in Veal. Its not a horrible package. One of either Gallagher or Marshall/Veal will probably be a good pitcher. Murton would be a solid 4th outfielder at worst. Cedeno would be a filler in the roster. The old classic change of scenery argument could be said, it worked wonders with Corey Patterson didn’t it?

There are going to be teams that will need a leadoff hitting second baseman during the course of the season and there will likely be better offers. I wouldn’t have been upset if the O’s would have taken that package but I’m cool with them passing on it. We’ve done plenty of trades with the Cubs and there’s other teams that could be a better fit.

So hey, the season starts tomorrow but unless you live Japan or are able to watch baseball during the weekday mornings without working, it doesn’t count.

O’s talking to Loshe, trade for Loretta?

Maybe its a sign that the Brian Roberts trade is creeping to a conclusion, the Sun is reporting the O’s have interest in Mark Loretta.

Seeking to add some infield depth and to find a potential replacement if they trade second baseman Brian Roberts, the Orioles have expressed interest in Astros utility infielder Mark Loretta.

I like it. If Roberts goes, who plays second? Someone like Loretta can fill the gap until a longterm second baseman is found. He’s aging, but on a rebuilding team, if you don’t have a kid who can fill the bill, then get a vet for a year.

With Freddie Bynum out for awhile with surgery, someone is needed for utility infield. He’d be better than Brandon Fahey.

Also, the O’s are talking to Kyle Loshe again.

Still considering adding a veteran to the back end of their rotation, the Orioles have had several discussions with Scott Boras, the agent for free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, 29. Lohse, a right-hander who is 63-74 with a 4.82 ERA over seven big league seasons, was originally seeking a five-year deal for approximately $50 million. However, his asking price has reportedly dropped significantly. The Orioles have yet to make an offer.

Kyle Loshe turned down a 3 year 30 million offer down in the offseason for the Mets. Smart move on his part. Steve Trachsel is already here. If Loshe is added, then 2/5ths the rotation is medicore veteran filler. Loshe has never been all that good and I’m afraid he’ll get lit up in the AL East. If MacPhail and Trembley feel like Loewen’s shaky (he is at the moment, but he’s coming off major surgery) and that Liz and Olson need some more time in the minors and that Albers and Penn would be better served in long relief for the moment, then it might be an ok move. I still think Loshe is a medicore pitcher AT BEST. If he comes in on a one year low base deal, then its no big deal. We’re going lose plenty this year with or without him. Maybe if he performs well, we  can flip him at the deadline for a prospect.

In that same article, Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio, Ryan Keefer, and Estaban Yan were sent to minor league camp. No surprise really. Wieters, Tillman, and Mickolio were going to the minors this season anyway. Yan…no surprise there.

The Day After

Now its the day after the Bedard trade and we’re over the ‘unbridled enthusaism’ of the big trade going down (and I have a brand spanking new mouse), let’s take a step back and look at things.

The team has given up its ace for 5 players. 2 of those players will be on the team this year, by season’s end Tillman and Kam will likely be on the big club. I doubt Butler will be in Baltimore until 2009, though I could be wrong.

Going in the week, the O’s had holes at SS, CF, and closer. No need to bring back Corey Patterson now, Adam Jones is our new centerfielder. George Sherrill, a setup man by trade, looks as if he’ll be working the ninth this season. Now shortstop is the spot that needs addressing. I’d rather not see Luis Hernandez playing and I sure don’t want to see Brandon Fahey there. If the team doesn’t make another move, I’d honestly rather see Freddie Bynum play short (no joke). In the next week or two though, I’m sure Brian Roberts will be traded and this season’s shortstop will be coming to Baltimore. Ronnie Cedeno maybe? Doesn’t excite me, but maybe last season in the minors and a change of scenery will do the trick for him. He’d be better than Fahey and company.

Of course, Bedard leaving means we don’t have an ace. I’m sure Jeremy Guthrie will be our number one this season. If he pitches like he did last season, then that’s the best spot for him on the team for the time being. In a year or two, maybe Troy Patton or Chris Tillman will become an ace. Maybe Adam Loewen. Who knows. We’ve lost a good pitcher, who has the potential to be great. If he stays healthy and keeps progressing at the rate he is, he’ll be great. I hate to see him go and I hope that over the past two weeks I haven’t appeared to want to get rid of him for the sake of getting rid of him. In a perfect world, Erik Bedard would retire an O. The world ain’t perfect and the O’s sure aren’t. He didn’t want to commit long-term to a rebuilding team. I can’t blame him for wanting to go to a winning team. To get something good you have to give up something good and Bedard was the ‘goodest’ thing the team had. I wish him well and hope he has a great season in Seattle (except when he pitches against the Orioles). Seeing him pitch in teal and white though will make me a little jaded. It’ll be kind of like seeing your ex-girlfriend with another guy right after a breakup. You’re alittle pissed and jealous at first, but once you realize that it was necessary to end things….you feel alot better. In a year or two, when you’re engaged another girl and you look at what you end up, hopefully, you can look back and say “Yeah, things were good back then, but this will be a lot better.”

 This season will be an audition for a lot of these players to see what they have and what they can contribute to this team long term.

It’s a happy day. Rebuilding has happened. The outfield is looking awesome. The organization has depth in the minors. There’s a surplus of young arms. Dare I say the bullpen could be better this season. Now let’s see some dead weight moved. I’m going to need to order me an Adam Jones jersey soon.

Bedard Trade FINALLY Done

It’s finally done.

From ESPN

Baltimore received outfielder Adam Jones, who will probably start in center field on Opening Day. The Orioles also obtained reliever George Sherrill and pitchers Chris Tillman, Tony Butler and Kam Mickolio.

I like the return, while I would have liked Clement or Triufel being in the deal, we made out pretty good.

Adam Jones- This should be our centerfielder for the next six years (at least). I’ve heard and read that he should be the next Tori Hunter, he’s going be better than Torii Hunter, he’s a blend between Torii Hunter and Mike Cameron. This kid should be good. I’m looking forward to an outfield of Luke Scott, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis. Man, that’s the best outfield we’ve had in ten years. Remember when Ed Rodgers was playing left field against the Mets two years ago and lost the ball in his jersey? Yeah, we won’t have to worry about that anymore.

LF Scott                                     CF Jones                                         RF Markakis

That’s awesome…..or rather potentially all around awesome. Nick is already. We’ll have to see about the other two.  

George Sherrill- At first I was thinking why are they wanting to get a 31 year old reliever in this deal? Upon further reading, he’ll be under team under for the next 4 seasons. He’s a lefty who can setup or close. A bullpen lefty like him can pitch 8 more years. He’ll close for us this season more than likely and next offseason he can be traded again or if he has a good reason, well….let’s hold on to a good bullpen guy.

Chris Tillman was the M’s minor league pitcher of the year last season. If either him or Tony Butler turn in a solid rotation pitcher that’s awesome. If both pan out, then it’s awesomer. The great thing about these guys is that they can pitch in the minors this season and if as the season progresses an injury occurs, we’ve got depth in the minors. Good young pitching depth! No Victor Zambrano or Russ Ortiz signings!

Kam Mickolio is probably going to be our closer in the next year or two. He’s supposed to have some nasty stuff and with a name like that I’m sure he’s going to be nasty.

It’s a great day. Rebuilding is underway. The O’s are no longer trying to give us patchwork teams that can win 70 games. This season will probably be tough. Next season too. But I’m definately going to order my Extra Innings this season so I can see my O’s progress. MacPhail has a plan and it’s happening. He wants a team that’s deep on pitching and if two or three of the pitchers he got from Houston and Seattle pan out, we’re on the way back up.

This has been the best offseason for me in a long time. For years all we’ve had is the horrible near signings. Players use the O’s to drive up their price for the teams they really want to go to (Carlos Lee, Vlad, Korenko). There hasn’t been any crappy signing like the Huffs and Paytons. There hasn’t been any horrible contract extensions (Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons).

What’s next? Is Brian Roberts getting traded? It probably should happen, but it doesn’t have to happen right now. I want some of the dead weight to go away. I don’t want Jay Gibbons, Jay Payton, Melvin Mora, and Huff taking away playing time from the future of the team. I’m anxious to see what MacPhail can get for them. Not much I’m sure, but he did well with the Traschel trade.

Kind of all over the place with this post, but its been that kind of week. Anyway, It’s been a great day. I hate to Bedard go, but the deal has to happen. If the team is going to rebuild, we have to get the best return we can. Bedard has brought us back the most. Happy Trails, Erik. You were awesome and I’ll miss you.

ESPN: Deal ‘close’ to happening

Another day, another inch closer to this trade with the Mariners.

The Baltimore Sun and Seattle Post-Intelligencer are reporting that Mariners outfielder Adam Jones — the key prospect the Orioles are expected to receive for Bedard — is in Baltimore to take a physical.

All right, so the physical is finally happening or has just happened. This might happen tomorrow or it might drag out another couple days. The fact is that now with physicals happening, the question isn’t now if this trade happens, it’s when.

The Sun, citing an unnamed source, reported Monday that the trade of Bedard from Baltimore to Seattle is pending only completion of physicals. The newspaper reported that if Jones passes his physical, a trade could be announced as soon as Monday.

Nope, it didn’t happen today….but maybe tomorrow. I read somewhere, maybe the Seattle PI, that Sherrill had his physical in Baltimore today too and has already flown back to Arizona.

A little something else here….

Jones, 22, is regarded by scouts and executives with other teams as a rising star. “He’s going to be a monster,” an AL talent evaluator told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. “If you put he and Nick Markakis in the same outfield, that is the start of something.”

I’m going to bed. With the Superbowl last night and work today, I’m beat. You know who else is beat? The Pats. Ha ha ha. Last night was the first time ever I think, that I’ve cheered for a New York team. It might be the last time too. It was an awesome game.