Advertisement

Taking another look at the trade

Andy MacPhail is being praised by a lot of fans today, but imagine if he also had succeeded in flipping Glenn Davis back to the Astros.

Can't blame a guy for trying.

Advertisement

He may never amount to much – you can't judge a trade like this for a few years - but left-hander Troy Patton is the jewel of this deal. That's become more obvious by the minute. He doesn't have great stuff, but he commands it very well and definitely knows how to pitch. He's not just rearing back and firing the ball. His fastball was clocked in the mid-90s in high school, but he's probably more 88-92. At one time, the Astros seemed intent on keeping him, and I'm sure the front office is uncomfortable with surrendering him.

For example: "Obviously, the price of the deal is high, a little painful," said Astros general manager Ed Wade. "We gave up some significant pitching in this deal. If you're going to bring in a player of this caliber, you've got to pay the price for it."

Advertisement

Luke Scott probably is more suited to be a fourth outfielder, or in a platoon role in left or right field (left in this case). He doesn't have a lot of at-bats against left-handed pitching. We don't know how he'll hold up as an everyday player. And I'm not sure we'll find out. There are rumblings that the Orioles will move him to another team before Opening Day, as the Rockies wanted to do with Larry Bigbie a few years ago before their proposed deal with the Red Sox fell apart. And as the Orioles likely would have done with Roy Oswalt if that trade went down last year.

Dennis Sarfate has the serious heat, his fastball reaching 98 mph. But his aim isn't real good. We'll see what new pitching coach Rick Kranitz can do with him.

More than one person has ripped third baseman Mike Costanzo for being an all-or-nothing guy, someone who can't field and can't make consistent contact. But he brings some much-needed power to the farm system. Billy Rowell will leapfrog him at some point.  That's fine. Organizations can use a guy like Costanzo. And maybe with the right hitting coach…

When the deal was first reported by The Sun, I figured the national reaction would be more favorable toward the Astros, despite Miguel Tejada's declining power and his issues in the field. But plenty of people in Houston are stirred up, feeling that the Astros gave up too much and didn't get needed pitching in return.

One member of the Orioles' organization has been receiving phone calls all day heaping praise on his team and wondering how it raked in so much.

Watch a rejuvenated Tejada put up huge numbers next season. That's fine. I really hope he does. Also watch the reaction of his pitchers each time a play isn't made behind them.

Adam Everett can't hit, but he's a good defensive shortstop. Tejada used to be, and might be again with a new team and new hope that his season won't end after 162 games. He seemed too distracted in the field, failing to make routine plays. Range had nothing to do with it. He often couldn't handle balls hit directly at him.

If there's any sadness or disappointment for me today, it's that Tejada's signing brought such grand expectations and was celebrated with such fervor. The losing was supposed to stop. He said as much.

Advertisement

Tejada put up the numbers. He was team MVP. He wasn't a bust. But he didn't win. And that was the point of giving him a six-year contract.

This isn't the way it was supposed to end.


Advertisement