Orioles deal Gonzalez to Texas for player to be named

August 31, 2011 | Luke Jones

(Updated: 10:25 p.m.)

The Orioles traded relief pitcher Michael Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later on Wednesday afternoon.

Multiple reports are saying the Orioles will receive 26-year-old pitcher Pedro Strop from the Rangers. He was 0-1 with a 3.72 earned run average in 11 appearances with Texas this season.

The often-maligned Gonzalez went 2-2 with one save and a 4.27 earned run average (46 1/3 innings) with the Orioles in 2011. The 33-year-old has not allowed a run in his last 13 appearances, a span of 12 1/3 innings.

After a disastrous April in which Gonzalez’s ERA was 9.82 by month’s end, the southpaw pitched to a 3.23 clip from May 1 through his last appearance on Aug. 29, a span of 39 innings pitched.

Signed to a two-year, $12 million contract to be the Orioles closer in December 2009, Gonzalez’s run in Baltimore was a tumultuous one after blowing two of his first three save opportunities to begin the 2010 season before being placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Gonzalez finished 2010 with a 1-3 record, one save, and a 4.01 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.

The deal marks the second time this season the Orioles have dealt a reliever to Texas after trading Koji Uehara to the Rangers for first baseman Chris Davis and pitcher Tommy Hunter last month.

To take Gonzalez’s place on the 25-man roster, the Orioles have recalled left-handed reliever Zach Phillips from Triple-A Norfolk. Acquired from Texas in exchange for infielder Nick Green and cash considerations on July 19, the 24-year-old Phillips posted a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings with the Tides.

The Orioles also announced that southpaw reliever Mark Hendrickson has been optioned to Norfolk while left-handed pitcher Mike Ballard and right-handed pitcher Mitch Atkins have been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.

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