‘Trader Mac’ Starts the Rebuild

December 12, 2007 |

Apparently, Andy MacPhail spent his week in Nashville at the MLB Winter Meetings laying the groundwork to begin rebuilding the Orioles’ system.  That is evident from today’s trade of Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for five players, headlined by outfielder Luke Scott.

Before I get too analytical, let me give you some biographical information on the newest Baltimore Orioles.

Luke Scott – Clearly the "prize" for Tejada.  Scott is a 29 year old outfielder who bats left and throws right.  In parts of 3 seasons in the big leagues, Scott has amassed 663 ABs, hitting .273 with a .366 OBP and .516 Slg %.  He has 51 doubles, 13 triples, 28 homeruns and 105 RBIs.  Scott has 92 BBs vs. 161 Ks in the bigs.  He will obviously be the O’s starting leftfielder on Opening Day 2008.

Matt Albers – Albers is a 24 year old righthanded pitcher.  He has appeared in 35 games in his brief MLB career, starting 20.  2006 was a trying year statistically as Albers learned his way around the majors.  He was 4-11 with a 5.86 ERA, allowing 127 hits and 50 walks in 110.67 IPs.  A young arm to challenge for a spot in the back of the rotation or help out of the bullpen.

Troy Patton – A 22 year old lefthanded pitcher with only 3 games played (2 starts) last season in Houston.  Who knows?  I’ve certainly never seen him before, but more competition on this pitching staff is certainly welcome.

Dennis Sarfate – A 25 year old righthanded pitcher who has worked exclusively out of the ‘pen in 15 games over the past two seasons.  He must have a power arm, as he’s collected 25 Ks in 16.67 IPs.  Sarfate has only walked 5 batters in that work against 14 hits.  Hmmmmm.  Sounds intriguing.

Michael Costanzo – Speaking of intriguing, Costanzo has 136 extra-base hits in 3 full minor league seasons totalling 1,293 ABs.  He’s a lefthanded hitting third baseman who’s just turned 24.  Definite competition for Scott Moore in Spring Training.  Which leads me to….

Melvin Mora will not be an Oriole by Opening Day.  With Moore and Costanzo, MacPhail is attempting to stockpile some young talent to replace Mora.  Look for Mora to be dealt to either Philadelphia or the Mets sometime before February.  Keep in mind, in their infinite wisdom, the Orioles granted Melvin full no-trade protection in his contract, so he’ll have to approve of any potential trade.

Does today’s news gladden you and make you believe that Andy MacPhail genuinely has full autonomy over baseball operations?  Remember that Peter Angelos vetoed two prior trades of Tejada.  Perhaps it IS a new day in Orioleland.  If that’s REALLY the case, we should all be happy with this deal.  And the ones that are certain to follow.

So who’s next?  Erik Bedard?  Mora?  Brian Roberts?  Aubrey Huff (Please, oh please!)?  Kevin Mill-ah?  This is going to be interesting….

Who’d a thunk it?  The Baltimore Orioles are more interesting in December than the Ravens!

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