Miguel Tejada is gone. It was a move that we all knew was coming, but I think that we were all hoping to get a little more out of it. Yes, the Orioles got 5 players in return for the former MVP, but is there real talent among them? Of the five, there is no question that outfielder Luke Scott is the biggest name. Yes, he has power. Yes, when he came up in ’06 he lit the world on fire for a couple of months. There are three issues with him. The first one is glaring. He is almost 30 years old. Not exactly the talented youth that we were hoping for in return. The second is his questionalble ability to hit left handers. That could make him a platoon player. He is a mediocre outfielder. He is ticketed to play left field at Camden Yards which requires more than a mediocre ability.
The rest are names we have never heard. Three young pitchers with varying degrees of potential. Finally, a left handed 3rd baseman with pop, but big holes in his swing if you follow his statistics. It seems to me that if you could have gotten one can’t miss prospect for Tejada, that might have read better. Instead, McPhail has netted five players in the hopes that two or maybe three prove to be competent major leaguers.
Here is my big question…..why now? McPhail, known as a patient and methodical mover chose today….the day before the Mitchell report is released to move Tejada. A player who has clearly lost much of his value on the trade market is now gone for a collection of “could be” players. If this were a land deal, wouldn’t that make you wonder about the ground you were purchasing?
Let me be clear about this, I have no knowledge that Tejada is in the Mitchell report, or has done anything wrong. All I know is that since Palmeiro and the B-12 insinuation, there has been a lot of smoke surrounding Tejada. A player who started in the bay area. A little guy with previously amazing if not surprising pop. A player whose numbers have diminished steadily since the new testing policies were put in place by baseball. Now he is traded the day before a report that could become the equivalent of the scarlet letter in baseball circles is released for five “could be” players?
McPhail needed to make a move. He had to find a way to fill several spots with only a few blue chip pieces to move. Wait to long, and you run the risk of injury or continued diminishing abilities further weakening his position. Move to soon and you have what happened here. You get what you can get, and swallow hard and walk away from the table with what you can.
This puts even more pressure on McPhail to get class A talent from any deals involving Bedard and Roberts. The Orioles cannot waste their bullets. They don’t have many to fire. I hope that I no Oriole is listed in tomorrow’s report, and that all of these players turn out to be stars. Maybe I am too jaded, but given the team’s recent history, neither of these hopes seems likely.