Sorting through the day..
It’s been insanity today so I thought I’d try to recap the events and answer a few questions that still linger for the Orioles. Here goes..
The Orioles had several teams interested in Koji Uehara, but it became really evident in the last day or so that the Rangers were clearly the best match given that they had a wealth of Major League-ready starting pitchers and some solid position players.
Koji’s trade to the Rangers netted the O’s first baseman Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter and you can read my interview with them here, as well as the full story on the new guys up shortly on Orioles.com. For the Orioles, it was what manager Buck Showalter called an “emotional scene” in saying goodbye to the well-liked Uehara, who was trying to hold back tears in his exit interview with the media. You can read that here.
Then before Game 2 started, Derrek Lee –who was pulled in the eighth inning of Game 1 — wasn’t in the starting lineup. Trade rumors started to pick up and the Diamondbacks and Pirates emerged as the two logical landing choices. A deal was reached –pending some medical stuff — before Saturday’s nightcap ended and it was announced shortly after.
Lee –who was on a one-year deal– wasn’t surprised by the news and you can read his farewell interview here. His exit means Davis will be the Orioles primary first baseman and Hunter is expected to join a rotation badly in need of stability. The O’s got back Minor League first baseman Aaron Baker.
With Sunday’s Trade Deadline at 4 p.m. the Orioles appear to be done making any moves in that period. Their top remaining trade chip in right-hander Jeremy Guthrie hasn’t gotten them the return they wanted and the sense in the organization is that they can hold off until the offseason in entertaining offers for Guthrie.
But that doesn’t mean the roster shuffling is over. The Orioles do have several players –Michael Gonzalez and Vladimir Guerrero jump to mind — who could be dealt after the Trade Deadline.
After the deadline passes, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
On the more immediate front, the Orioles will make at least two roster moves to add arms after getting a part of disappointing starts from Chris Tillman and Zach Britton in today’s doubleheader. So, who goes? There’s a bunch of options in infielders Blake Davis, Josh Bell, as well as pitchers Jason Berken, Chris Jakabauskas and Troy Patton.
If Chris Davis starts, which is a possibility, the O’s would need to make another move there as well. Mike Gonzalez’s X-ray on his left wrist came back negative and the team was still waiting final word on fellow reliever Mark Hendrickson, who was hit in the hand.