So Much for the O's: Greene Headed to St. Louis
Well, that's what you get for being optimistic about Baltimore making a move: Just when it looks like things are lining up for the Orioles to land a shortstop, someone else swoops in and pulls the trigger before they do.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman, who has been ahead of everyone else on this furiously paced Khalil Greene trade, is now reporting that Greene will be traded to the Cardinals. There's no word yet about which prospects St. Louis will send back to get Greene, but rumors among trickling out on the internets are that the haul will be two relief prospects.
Losing out on Greene has to hurt for the Orioles, although this proves, once again, that they're not willing to move off from their original valuation of their own players and prospects. Say what you will -- and there's plenty to talk about when it comes to the Orioles overvaluing their farm-raised talent -- but this means that the Padres asked for Olson, the Orioles said no. The Padres probably asked for Olson again, the Orioles again said no. As a result, Greene's going to be a Cardinal.
Of course, there's another upshot from this move: It means that Cesar Izturis won't be back in St. Louis. Izturis was allegedly the Orioles' top shortstop target the entire time, though his agents will certainly take note of Baltimore's inability to land Greene and play up the fact that O's have no solution for short whatsoever.
Izturis is a year younger than Greene and he hit for a better average, .263, in 2008. He has no power -- well, with only one homer last year, he has almost no power -- but he's a lifetime .260 hitter, so he's nothing if not consistent. He also has a Gold Glove (2004) and All-Star appearance (2005) to his credit, something that Izturis' representatives will certainly point out.
Of course, the Orioles could make an even bigger splash at the position, but that would require making a play of more sizable financial stature than they're accustomed to (premier splashes like Albert Belle, Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez aside ... and we all know how those last two worked out). But that may be a lot harder within the next couple days as Edgar Renteria wraps up the loose strings on a deal with the Giants and, as a handful of reporters have noted, Orlando Cabrera considers accepting the arbitration offered him by the White Sox. If those two dominoes do fall into place, that would leave just Rafael Furcal ahead of Izturis when it comes to hotshot names at the infield 6 spot, and that would only make Izturis that much more expensive, or so it would seem.
Thoughts? Is this just another stomach punch to O's fans, or are they actually relieved not to get Greene?
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