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I am flying back to the bar Monday afternoon, and I am hoping I recognize the place.

I'm sure the "In Oscar We Trust" banner is no longer hanging over the bar.

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I'm curious to get your thoughts on Sunday's Oscar Salazar trade to the San Diego Padres for reliever Cla Meredith.

Basically, this is my take on the minor deal: Salazar is a tremendous guy, perhaps one of the nicest in the Orioles' 2009 clubhouse (and there is a bunch of good guys in there).

He is a great story. He played in Italy, Mexico, etc., and never gave up his big-league dream. And he can flat-out hit.

But a 31-year-old pinch hitter/DH with limited defensive skills is not a good fit for a rebuilding club that's jammed at the corners.

It's possible he goes to San Diego – or somewhere else – gets a full-time chance and succeeds. I couldn't be happier for the guy if that happens.

He just didn't have a spot here. Like it or not, Melvin Mora is the Orioles' third baseman for now. He has a no-trade clause and is still owed millions for this season. Cutting him outright with two months on his contract to find a spot for Salazar, who may not be able to play third effectively, seems like a harsh end for your most tenured Oriole.

Cutting Felix Pie, who is just 24 --younger than Nolan Reimold, for instance – also doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

So dealing Salazar – a guy who anyone could have had for free this winter – for a 26-year-old major-league reliever with a minor-league option was about as good as the Orioles could have done.

Meredith's presence in the bullpen also makes it a little easier to deal Danys Baez or even George Sherrill this month. Think of Meredith as a poor (and young) man's version of Chad Bradford.

Yes, it's a very minor deal. But if Meredith ends up being a solid member of the bullpen for a couple years, it will be a solid, understated move. I wish Salazar luck, and I give Andy MacPhail credit for getting some value for Salazar.

Daily Think Special: What's your take on the Oscar Salazar deal?

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