Recap of a crazy Saturday: Guthrie likely staying; Davis will get extended look; Hunter to pen and then rotation; roster shuffle impending
By Dan Connolly
Jul 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM
It was an absolutely long day at Yankee Stadium – one of the longest I have dealt with since covering the Orioles. And there have been some crazy ones in the past.
By now you know the obvious stuff: The Orioles sent Koji Uehara and $2 million to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Chris Davis and right-hander Tommy Hunter, both 25-years-old.
Then they dealt incumbent first baseman Derrek Lee and some cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Class A first baseman Aaron Baker.
They also got embarrassed by the New York Yankees in a doubleheader, losing 8-3 in the first game and 17-3 in the nightcap. In the second game, the Orioles were down 12-0 in the first inning and 15-0 in the second.
Crazy. But here are some other things I picked up today and didn't have time to write:
It has become highly unlikely that Jeremy Guthrie will be dealt this season. Basically, the Orioles found that the return they could get for a starting pitcher wasn't nearly as good as the return for a reliever.
It makes sense. Relievers are spotty from season to season. Contenders in July know what holes they need to fill, and bullpen help is always a big one. And they are willing to pay handsomely for a reliever that is pitching well at that moment.
Starters, however, probably have a better market in the offseason, when teams are planning their rotation and want a full season of an additional starter. The exception is for a guy like Cliff Lee or maybe Ubaldo Jimenez. But those guys are rare at the trade deadline.
Look for trade talk involving Guthrie to heat up again this offseason.
From what several sources have told me, Uehara's value was all over the board. Some contenders worried about his durability and didn't make much of an offer. Others pushed for him hard.
Ultimately, Texas was the best fit for the Orioles. The Orioles have so many ties to the Rangers that they know everything about Hunter and Davis. I'm not sure Texas is the best fit for Uehara. He's not a fan of pitching in the heat, so it'll be interesting to see how he does there.
He is such a good guy, though, I think everyone wishes him the best.
Davis can play left field and third base, but his best defensive position in first. The Orioles are going to give him a chance to sink or swim and see if he can overcome the struggles that have plagued him (low average, high strikeouts). If he can, he's a 30 homer guy. But there's no guarantee of that.
Hunter likely will start out in the bullpen, but the Orioles see him as a starter. He's got the reputation of not staying in good condition, but there is no question he is talented.
Honestly, neither guy could work out, but it was definitely worth the risk.
It's my sense the Orioles are done trading and won't be pushing Sunday's 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. A guy like Vladimir Guerrero or Michael Gonzalez could get moved in August. But unless there is a surprise, there will be no more movement Sunday.
At least trade-wise. Expect several bullpen reinforcements on Sunday. It's possible Gonzalez and Mark Hendrickson, both of whom were hit by liners on Saturday night, might have to be shelved – though Gonzalez said he suffered nothing more than a wrist bruise.
Also, relievers such as Troy Patton, who pitched in both ends of the doubleheader, Chris Jakubauskas and Jason Berken, who got beat around in the second game, could be sent down for fresh arms.
Hunter and Davis will join the Orioles on Sunday, so there will be plenty of pending roster moves.