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.


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?