Monday, July 20, 2009

O's notes: Sherrill, Wieters, Salazar

Orioles closer George Sherrill -- 2.35 ERA, 2.92 K/BB, 20 saves -- has been solid this year, and he arguably deserved to be on the All-Star team for the second year in a row. But with his name frequently being mentioned in trade rumors, Sherrill made it known that he wants to stay in Baltimore:

"For sure, I want to be here....The Mariners are starting to have a little bit of success. Do I wish I was still there? Not really. I'm an Oriole now for as long as it lasts. It would be a little disappointing to get traded especially if this team does turn it around in the next couple of years.

They'll have to get obviously what they want. Not necessarily be overwhelmed, but whelmed, I guess. I think it's the same thing as last year. [Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] is going to set the price high because they don't necessarily have to move me."

He's right. Moving Sherrill makes sense, but MacPhail doesn't have to trade him if the right deal doesn't come together. That being said, if the O's are able to get a couple of top prospects in exchange for Sherrill, MacPhail should certainly consider parting with the 32-year-old lefty. Also, according to Ken Rosenthal, one "rival executive" thinks Sherrill will be traded soon: "They will move him; they know he's the best available closer out there." Stay tuned.


Finishing up his 2009 MLB Trade Value series, Dave Cameron places Matt Wieters fifth -- right behind Albert Pujols. Here's his explanation:

Don’t freak out about his first 120 trips to the plate. He’s still a switch-hitting catcher with every offensive tool you could wish upon a player his size. He’s going to be the Orioles best hitter sooner rather than later, and his upside is off the charts. Baltimore has some great pieces to build around, but he’s the best of the bunch. Joe Mauer with power might be too lofty of an expectation, but a switch-hitting Brian McCann with a few more walks is still an amazing talent.

Wieters is struggling right now; he's hitting .239/.294/.376 with three homers and a 0.31 BB/K ratio. Still, he has all the talent in the world, and even with his mediocre numbers, he's still been worth $1.3 million so far this season according to FanGraphs. He has enough to worry about just becoming familiar with the pitching staff and calling a good game behind the plate, so as he gets more accustomed to major league pitching, his offensive numbers will improve.

It's easy to make excuses for him, but that's how it goes sometimes. He'll turn things around.


In case you didn't know, yesterday the Orioles traded infielder Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for right-handed reliever Cla Meredith. The move makes sense for two reasons: 1) Salazar, 31, was out of options and didn't have a full-time slot in the lineup, and 2) Meredith is a decent reliever who provides some insurance in case the Orioles make some more trades. Meredith also has an option left, so it gives the O's a little more roster flexibility if they need it.

Meredith is primarily a groundball pitcher (67.4 percent career GB percentage). He doesn't strike out a ton of batters, but he keeps the ball in the ballpark (0.64 career HR/9) and is relatively young at 26 years old.

Dealing for Meredith may not have been the best trade of all time, but if you told me before the season that the O's would be able to deal Salazar for a decent reliever, I would have been pleased.


Also, the Orioles have signed Victor Diaz to a minor league deal, and he will report to Triple-A Norfolk:

The 27-year-old outfielder played parts of four seasons with the New York Mets (2004-2006) and Texas Rangers (2007) before spending last year in Triple-A with the affiliates of the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros.

Diaz batted .282 with 25 home runs and 107 RBIs in 129 games in Triple-A during the 2008 season, and he started this year with the Hanwha Eagles in the Korean League.

Hey, why not?

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