Ok, this is getting re-god-damn-diculous.
It's been almost two weeks since the O's/Mariners trade involving Erik Bedard was rumored to be complete and we're still inching toward a finish that may never come. Word is, all of the players the Mariners will be sending to the Orioles have taken their physicals. However it's still unknown if Bedard has taken his physical, is in Seattle or on his way to Seattle.
What's that saying? I know enough to know that I don't know?
The Erik Bedard trade has become a joke around MLB media circles and the Orioles, as usual, are the butt of said jokes. And rightfully so. A team that is looking to improve its image as much as its record in the standings shouldn't be getting so bogged down in such a trade.
What happened with the Tejada trade? Why did that happen so fast, and why has this taken so long? There is no reason the final announcement of such a trade should take this long. The players have apparently been agreed upon. Physicals have been taken, or are in the process of being taken.
So what's the hold up?
I hate to beat a dead horse, but how can I not come back to Peter Angelos in times like this? He's infamous for holding up transactions one way or another. So one has to think that he at least has some kind of involvement in slowing this trade down.
As for the trade, it's a very good trade for the Orioles, and one they should have been quick to pull the trigger on, before the M's realize what they're giving up and change their mind.
In total, the O's will reportedly get 5 players from the Mariners. The centerpiece of the deal is CF Adam Jones. Jones is one of the top-rated prospects in baseball and often compared to Torii Hunter and Mike Cameron. Jones would be the Orioles' opening day starter in CF, and if everything goes well, he'll be a long-term staple there like Brady Anderson was in the 90's.
The other MLB-ready player is relief pitcher George Sherrill. He's most likely be a candidate for closer in the absence of Chris Ray. At 30, Sherrill is a bit old to be a part of a rebuilding process, but his career 3.65 ERA and 1.20 WHIP can offer some stability in the bullpen, something the O's desperately need after last year's disaster.
The other players in the deal are likely to be pitchers, including 20 year old Anthony Butler, 20 year old Chris Tillman and 24 year old Kameron Mickolio.
Butler has only thrown 141 innings in the minors, both at the A-ball level, but he's looked promising with a 3.95 ERA and 150 strikeouts.
Tillman is another A-ball pitcher, but with less promising results. Through 166 innings, he's collected 184 strikeouts, 81 walks, and a 4.91 ERA.
The final piece of the deal, Mickolio, has only pitched 85 innings in the minors, but 24 of them came at the AAA level. He boasts a 2.73 career ERA in the minors. While Mickolio will likely begin the year in Norfolk, he's the player most likely to reach the majors behind Jones.
So, like the Tejada deal, the Orioles will be getting two major league ready players, and some more quantity to fill out their once-barren farm system.
But that's only if the deal is completed.
It's not like this trade is the last thing the Orioles need to do this offseason either. There's still Brian Roberts to trade (which he should be), and a few of Huff, Millar, Payton, Mora and Gibbons to trade or jettison.
So, I don't know what MacPhail and the Orioles are waiting for. If Angelos is involved in this slow-down, god help us, but if not, let's close the deal and move on. There's still a lot of work to be done.