Friday, February 8, 2008
Today, the Orioles completed the long-gestating Erik Bedard-to-the-Mariners trade that had dragged on for two grueling weeks.
Wait, only two weeks? That felt like two months.
Many fans (myself included) were waiting for the trade to fall apart, like most O's dealings have in the past few years. But sources throughout the MLB maintained that the deal was going to get done, even though they didn't know when.
It'll be a long time before we ever find out what took so long, but that doesn't really matter now that the trade is final. Just chalk it up to the Orioles still not being able to do much of anything easily, but at least they finally got it right.
Trading Bedard was a difficult thing to do. He's clearly one of the top arms in baseball, and a lefty to boot, but the Orioles were left without a choice. Trading him for as much young talent as they could get was the way to go.
And now it's official. What a relief.
As I mentioned before, Adam Jones should be a fixture in CF for years to come, and a few of the young arms acquired in the deal should be popping up in the starting rotation and bullpen starting in 2008.
Now the team's focus should shift to finishing another long rumored deal -- Brian Roberts to the Cubs.
It's unlikely that the Cubs would part with their top CF prospect, Felix Pie, but maybe the added waiting time will make the Cubbies more likely to give into the O's demands. Spring training is only a few weeks away and the Cubs have their eye on first place in the weak NL Central.
Meanwhile, an O's OF of Jones in LF, Pie in CF and Markakis in LF would be amongst the best, and youngest, in the major leagues.
Just don't mention the infield. It's still horrendous.
Anyway, if Pie can't be had, the O's wouldn't lose much by acquiring OF Matt Murton in his place. Murton is four years younger than Luke Scott, and already has very similar numbers. Acquiring either Pie or Murton would also make Scott expendable too, and many teams would like to have him, leaving even more options open for the O's.
On top of Pie or Murton, the O's would probably also be able to pry SP Sean Gallagher as well as one of Ronny Cedeno or Eric Patterson away from the Cubs. If I had my pick, it'd be Eric Patterson and his .827 MiL OPS.
At any rate, the lines of communication with the Cubs are there, but it's unknown whether Peter Angelos will allow Brian Roberts, the "face of the franchise" (a term that I hate) be traded.
So, the bulk of the Orioles' work this offseason is now complete, but there is still work to be done. Trading Brian Roberts is not as urgent as trading Bedard was, but now is as good a time as any.
The O's rebuilding process is now officially underway. And I couldn't be more excited.