Friday, December 2, 2011

O's acquire backup catcher Taylor Teagarden

Yesterday, the Orioles acquired catcher Taylor Teagarden from the Rangers in exchange for minor-league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later. With Matt Wieters being the only catcher listed on the team's 40-man roster, the O's were determined to locate a competent backup backstop.

Teagarden, 27, is out of options, which is one reason the Rangers made this move. But he's also failed to live up to the hype at the plate. In 392 major league plate appearances, Teagarden has hit .220/.286/.417 with 16 home runs. That's obviously not particularly good, but then again, he should be an improvement over what Craig Tatum did last season (.195/.245/.230 in 96 plate appearances). In the minors, Teagarden showcased an ability to get on base; unfortunately, that hasn't translated to his major league at-bats yet.

Teagarden's best asset appears to be his defense. According to Matt Eddy and Tim Ednoff of Baseball America, "Teagarden still receives high grades for his defensive skills, however. He's an effortless receiver and blocker with a quick, accurate arm who has gunned down 34 percent of basestealers in the big leagues."

It's not ideal to give up anything valuable when acquiring a backup catcher, though there's no guarantee that Henry or the player to be named later develop into major leaguers. Still, the price the O's paid for Teagarden seems reasonable, and it doesn't appear as if they overpaid.

Most fans have noticed by now that the O's, managed by former Rangers manager Buck Showalter, haven't had any problem recently dealing with the Rangers. Via the Baseball America link above, here's a quick rundown of those trades:
Working backward from Teagarden, the Orioles acquired Darren O'Day in a Nov. 3 waiver claim; righthander Pedro Strop for Mike Gonzalez on Aug. 31; third baseman Chris Davis and righthander Tommy Hunter for Koji Uehara on July 30; lefty Zach Phillips for Nick Green and cash on July 19; and lefty Clay Rapada signed a minor league deal on Jan. 27. Even journeyman righty reliever Willie Eyre spent a season with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in 2010, with a partial-season stopover in the Athletics system prior joining the Orioles.
There's some decent trades in there, but nothing overly terrible or crazy. Who knows if the O's are done dealing yet, but as long as Showalter's around, a trade with the Rangers is always a possibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment