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O's Trade Salazar for Meredith

The Orioles made the first of what could be multiple trades by shipping off infielder Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for reliever Cla Meredith.

Salazar was simply the victim of a roster crunch, as the team really had no place to put the hard-hitting, light-fielding 31-year-old. Couple that with the fact that he was out of options and the move seemed almost inevitable.

Some may argue that Felix Pie should have been the Baltimore player bundled in a trade but due to his age (24), the fact that he is also out of options and that he can be a serviceable backup at each of the outfield positions, Pie will stick on the roster.

Meredith, whose real name is Olise C. Meredith III, is a 26-year-old Richmond, Va. native that is playing in his fifth year as a major leaguer. A submariner, Meredith will serve as a reliever and despite having one more option remaining, is expected to remain on the major league roster.

Described as a "poor man's Chad Bradford" by Baltimore General Manager Andy MacPhail, Meredith has a 3.49 career ERA and had his best season in 2006 when he pitched 28 consecutive scoreless innings.

This year, Meredith is 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA having allowed 19 total runs this year in 36 2/3 innings with the Padres. The Orioles are hoping that his ability to induce ground balls (he's only allowed one homer this season) will be beneficial to the team in the humid, home-run-hitting months of the season.

While Meredith may not be a top-tier trade chip, the Orioles were over a barrel in dealing Salazar, he was out of options, aging and had no position to play in Baltimore but the team was still able to get a major league reliever in return. The team hopes Meredith's submarine style will keep AL hitters at bay but in 22 career interleague appearances, he has a 5.25 ERA, having allowed 15 runs and three homers in 24 innings.

On the plus side, this is still better than trading for a 36-year-old Jason Grimsley back in 2004 who was equal parts old and ineffective and may or may not have contributed to a PED problem in the Baltimore clubhouse. So Meredith has that going for him, which is nice.

Also, this is a bit of a unique move for Baltimore. In recent years deals made at the trade deadline were done to dump salary, not actually acquire players that can contribute now, perhaps this is another indication the franchise is actually on the right track.

Now that the Orioles have made one move, do you expect any other players to soon be sent packing? Danys Baez? Aubrey Huff? George Sherrill?

By CJ Holley  |  July 20, 2009; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles , Padres  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, cla meredith, oscar salazar, san diego padres  
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Huff should be next. The Orioles would be smart to try to deal him before the Nats can dump Johnson. The problem is that one of the teams looking for a 1B is in their own division (Boston). I don't see Sherrill getting traded. He's pretty cheap, and gets the job done. Ray is clearly not ready to take back the closer role and Hoey doesn't look like the answer either, but Brian Bass or Jim Johnson might be viable options.

It would be nice if the O's could get a SP or 3B with Mora's future uncertain and his production sliding before the trading deadline, but the more I see this roster, the more I'd like to see it in 2010 with some better starting pitching. The O's will not finish below .500 next season, and may have a shot to be close to that mark this year if they keep it up instead of the typical August dive we've seen the past 3 years.

Posted by: Russtinator | July 20, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

As much as I like the guy, Sherrill's next out the door. I see this move to get Meredith as pretty much a confirmation of that because he can take Johnson's role in the pen if Johnson takes over as closer. It won't be Baez, he's been awful lately.

I'd like them to trade Huff but perhaps that might require Huff to actually get a hit once in a while. The nose dive his production has taken since May can't be helping any O's efforts to deal him.

Boston can have Huff if they're willing to give up good prospects for him. Boston's lineup is aging and if they want another aging guy who's going down hill in production for some prospects that can help the O's I'm all for it.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | July 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

O's reporter: "Hey kid, what happened to the last letter in your first name?"

Meredith: "Why, is there one missing?"

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 20, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Huff to the Mets or Giants might make sense.

To some extent, Huff within the division should not be a stumbling block if that is the best deal. The Os aren't competing with Boston this year, and it would only be for this year. CJ has it right - thinking of it a robbing the Red Sox of prospects that may be usefull from 2010 on.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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