The Orioles were considering various deals with the Rockies involving Jeremy Guthrie, and apparently the Orioles could have added 26-year-old infielder Eric Young Jr. to the existing deal but declined.
This seems strange at first since the Orioles are in the market for a second baseman and leadoff hitter and there’s no body speedier than Young.
But you have to go a little deeper to find out why the Orioles didn’t bite. He is out of options, meaning he’d be another competitor for a role at spring trainingand then would have to be placed on waivers to be sent to the minors if he didn’t make the club. During that process, he would be taking at-bats from other candidates.
And frankly, Young is not considered much of a second baseman. He can make the spectacular play at times but struggles with the routine ones. That might be OK if he batted .300, but he has a slash line of .246/.324/.342 in parts of three seasons in the big leagues. He can play the outfield but is viewed as an extra outfielder at best -- he likely will be the Rockies’ fifth outfielder in 2012.
Hard to say whether he is better than some of the other alternatives for second, such as Matt Antonelli and Ryan Flaherty, or outfield, such as Jai Miller and Endy Chavez. But, remember, the Orioles’ 40-man roster was already full with the addition of pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom(the Orioles designated lefty specialist Clay Rapada for assignment).
And it is filled with guys Dan Duquette has brought in (11 new players on the 40-man roster since Duquette took over as club executive vice president in November). So if they added Young, they’d likely have to let go one of the guys Duquette acquired.
Apparently, Duquette’s belief is that the guys he has now fit better than Young.
CBS Sports first mentioned Young as a possibility before the trade was official.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun