Friday, July 28, 2006

Time to say goodbye

Go back in the archives and you'll find I had trouble deciding whether or not Miguel Tejeda should be traded in the offseason.

Well there is no wavering now.

Be gone with him.

And its not because I don't like Miggy. I do. But let's get what we can right now. From all reports, it sounds like there are two puruers, the Angels and the Astros. Everyone says the Angels have the better prospects. And if you believe Baseball America, and there is no reason not to, that is all true.

The Angels had 3 guys ahead of the Astros top ranked prosect Jason Hirsch in BA's offseason rankings. But Hirsch was also ahead of Jered Weaver in the rankings. If I'm the Orioles, I'm looking for one major leaguer for Tejeda, as well as a position prospect and a pitching prospect.

If you deal with the Angels, you've got to get either Brandon Wood or Erick Aybar, both SS prospects. And since they aren't going to trade Jered Weaver right now, you probably don't get as solid of a pitching prospect. LA's next best pitching prospect is probably Joe Saunders. He was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA with Salt Lake before going 7 innings in a July 18th win over Cleveland. But with the health of numerous Angel pitchers questionable down the stretch would they risk giving him up? That might mean you've got to go all the way down to A ball to get a prospect from the pitching ranks. Tommy Mendoza and Nick Adenhart both started the season at Low-A Cedar Rapids with Adenhart jumping to the Cal League five starts ago. Mendoza throws harder, but Adenhart may have the best curve in the organization. The lefty was 10-2 with a 1.95 ERA at Cedar Rapids, and is now 3-1 with 4.55 in the Cal League. But both of those guys are at least another full season and probably two away.

I also think the major leaguer to return to the Orioles from LA is a bit of a reach. The Angels want Tejeda to play third. Macier Izturis has been playing third recently, but I don't want him in Baltimore. And there isn't a fourth outfielder that I'd take. So if its me, I'd want Wood, Dallas MacPherson or Casey Kotchman, and then I'd take either Mendoza or Adenhart, but would push for Adenhart. However, if they try to make you take Izturis instead of MacPherson or Kotchman, I'd demand Saunders. And they might actually try to hold onto Wood, and make you take Aybar, which is ok, but then you've got to get MacPherson or Kotchman -- the one you like better, and I like Kotchman, and probably Saunders.

That's why I think Houston might be the better partner. Adam Everett currently is the Astros SS, so he'd be the guy they'd like to get rid of immediately. I'd take Everett to be the everyday SS if I had to. But I would take an OF and let Brandon Fahey play SS. Still, the Astros have the pitcher closest to the majors in this whole situation, and that is Jason Hirsh. The 6-8 250 pound righthander is the Astros top prospect and is 12-2 with a 2.03 ERA at Round Rock (AAA). I also took a liking to lefthander Troy Patton, who just bumped from High-A to AA. With Salem he was 7-7 with a 2.93 ERA, while striking out 102 in 101 innings. His first start with Corpus Christi he struck out 6 in 5 2/3. He is 0-1 with a 1.59 there. But the guy I get most excited about is Hunter Pence. Pence has had a huge year at AA this year, after turning 23 earlier this year. He's hitting 299 with a 362 OBP and a 579 slugging pct. His 24 homers are matched by 24 doubles and 7 triples in just under 400 At-bats. He's stolen 13 bases to boot. If I could get Hirsh, Pence and Patton, I'd do the deal immediately.

I might even consider it without Hirsh, if I could get Pence, Patton and Chris Burke.

Again, I like Tejeda, but I'm ready to move on. I need something to get me excited about the Orioles again.

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