For the third time in a matter of months, an ace is on the move. After the Athletics and Twins raffled off their studs, Dan Haren and Johan Santana respectively, the Orioles decided it was time to part ways with southpaw Erik Bedard. Bedard will be headed to Seattle for highly-touted outfielder Adam Jones, along with pitchers George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio, and Tony Butler. I this deal upgrades both teams, obviously Seattle for the short-term and Baltimore for the long-term. Listening to Bedard’s press conference, it didn’t seem he was too happy in Baltimore, saying quote “we were going backwards.” He will give the Mariners one of the top starting pitching duos in the league along side Felix Hernandez, but the D-Backs’ Haren and Brandon Webb still get the nod for that nomination. Talk has already began regarding the M’s chances in the AL West, and it certainly is some food for thought, but in the end the Angels are just to deep. As far as this deal goes for Baltimore, I think they did the smart thing, unlike the Twins’ Bill Smith, by seeking some value for their ace. Adam Jones could be a top player in the league within a few years, and along with Nick Markakis, should form quite an outfield. Sherrill gives them some bullpen depth, and has a chance to compete for the closer’s role along with incumbent Chris Ray. As far the prospects are concerned, only Tillman was rated among the Mariners’ top 10 by Baseball America, but all things considered, the Orioles will be just fine. They got younger in this deal, while still maintaining a solid young rotation. Hayden Penn, Adam Loewen, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, along with newcomer Matt Albers (acquired in the Tejada deal) should be adequate.
February 9, 2008
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