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Reports: O's Closer Sherrill to Dodgers

Baltimore has dealt closer George Sherrill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects Josh Bell (3B, Class AA) and Steve Johnson (P, Class AA).

Sherrill was the Orioles' biggest trade chip and it seems the team may have acquired a third baseman of the future for him. Bell has compiled a .296 average and .364 OBP with 11 home runs and 44 RBI in 334 at-bats this year with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. Bell will join 1B/3B Brandon Snyder (currently with Class AAA Norfolk) as the team's top infield prospects. The 22-year-old Bell was a fourth-round selection in the 2005 draft.

Johnson is the son of former Oriole Dave Johnson and has a 9-5 record, 3.61 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 18 starts between two levels of the minors this season. The 21-year-old right-hander was born in Baltimore, drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2005 draft and was recently called up to pitch for Chattanooga.

This may be the only move the Orioles make heading up to Friday's trade deadline but Los Angeles is reportedly still somewhere in the running for Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Sherrill will join a Dodgers team that has lost a season-high four in a row but is still comfortably ahead in the NL West with a seven-game lead over San Francisco.

Sherrill will take his 20 saves and 2.40 ERA to a Dodgers bullpen that could use him either as a setup man or as a split closer with Jonathan Broxton.

With Sherrill gone, the question for Baltimore becomes who will step up into the closer role. Jim Johnson seems the likely candidate but he has struggled recently in his setup role. Former closer Chris Ray doesn't yet seem closer-ready as he is still in Norfolk.

What do you guys think? Good trade for both sides? Or did one team get the shaft here? Did the Orioles get fair value for their closer?

By CJ Holley  |  July 30, 2009; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Dodgers , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, george sherrill, josh bell, los angeles dodgers, steve johnson  
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Let me be the FIRST to say, McPhail strikes again!

Like the trade but dont necessarily love it yet. Hopefully Bell pans out as a legit long-term 3B as there are still questions about his D (is he better suited for 1B or DH?). The arm we got look good on paper too. Never can have too many pitchers. The overall talent level of the team and minor league system definately just took a big step forward...

Maybe Baez can return to closer form - hahaha. but we will need one next year.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | July 30, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Good trdae. The O's built Sherrill up into a valuable player after getting him as a throw in in the Bedard deal, I think. Bell has a good chance to fill a need for the club as Mora is gone this year. McPhail is building an exciting club. My guess is that they go for at least one front line starter via free agnecy after they clear some salary from the books this year and hope to develop the other arms from what they have.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 30, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I've been a O's fan for years but the last 5 seasons I could careless what they do. The owner, General Manager, Skipper, and team all suck. They need to trade the entire team and just start over with a new owner and GM and maybe we could win more than just 60-70 games a season. Anyway, who cares what they do..... every move they make seem to suck.

Posted by: outbeeze | July 30, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway, who cares what they do..... every move they make seem to suck."

Clearly, you are a fool. I'll let someone else explain why. I cant even believe I'm responding to this nonsense

Posted by: nattylite88 | July 30, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The numbers for Bell in the article seem to be incorrect. (the official site) has his OBP at .386, not .364, and gives him 52 RBI, not 44. The OBP in particular is an important difference.

I think this is a pretty decent deal for the Orioles for a pitcher who has been inconsistent as a closer and who was destined be a setup guy/lefty specialist on any of the teams interested in dealing for him.

Posted by: dockboggs | July 30, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Excellent move by McPhail. Anytime you can flip a reliever not named Rivera or K-Rod for a premium prospect and a solid prospect you have done your job. Love the direction of this club.

Posted by: lavar609 | July 30, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the trade. Geroge was a pretty good reliever for us and trying to replace him will be difficult.

Posted by: Thundershock | July 31, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

The Bedard trade is the gift that keeps on giving...

I really like George Sherrill, and I hope he does well in LA and perhaps we can get him back in a couple years as a free agent if he's still pitching effectively. But right now the O's don't need a 32 year old closer.

McPhail, as usual, got just what he wanted and may have fleeced yet another team on the West coast. The O's needed another 1B/3B prospect badly because Mora and Huff need to go, and soon.

"I've been a O's fan for years but the last 5 seasons I could careless what they do. The owner, General Manager, Skipper, and team all suck."

You are a complete fool. First of all, the O's have what is generally regarded as one of the top young outfields in all of baseball with Jones, Markakis and Reimold. Catcher Matt Wieters is regarded as the BEST catching prospect in all of baseball. The O's young starting pitchers Chris Tillman, Bergeson and David Hernandez are three of the best SPs the organization has produced in over a decade with Tillman regarded as a 1-2 starter of the future. They've got a kid named Brian Matusz who's been lights out this year in the minors going 11-2 with a 1.93 ERA at A and AA ball.

The Orioles are going to compete in the AL East soon, very soon. I even have to compliment Angelos, because he's kept his nose out of things and let McPhail rebuild the farm system.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | July 31, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse


As everyone states above, you are a complete fool. Have you paid any attention to this club since McPhail took over? I like the trade. They got something while the getting was good. I can't wait to see this team two years from now.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 31, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I really liked Sherrill and I will miss his goofy presence but this move was no doubt for the greater good and an excellent call. Sherrill was having another unexpectedly good season but at 32 he is not the future of the club and who knows how long he would've lasted. We filled a need by getting what looks like a good hitting position player and any pitching prospects for this club are always a good thing.

Really its too bad we couldn't get anything for Huff last season. He upped his value with that ridiculous batting average he had last July but now at his age and in this slump he is about worthless.

Outbreeze you need to pay more attention to what has been going on. There may be some valid (minor) criticisms of Trembley but McPhail has been packing the farm system with young talent. Its the return of the Orioles way and I think that we are well en route to being able to outdevelope Boston and NYY. Even Angelos has earned my grudging respect by not butting in and doing things for the greater good of the team like eating Jay Gibbons' contract.

The future is looking brighter. Go O's!

Posted by: nitrojunkie_20723 | July 31, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line was this is a solid trade that we may look back at as being an excellent one. Relievers, even really good ones like Sherrill, do not have value to a rebuilding club when they are 32 years old and will be paid several million dollars a year through arbitration. Will the Orioles struggle to close games this year? Of course, but who cares when you are not in contention. Good long term move, at the very least.

Posted by: lavar609 | July 31, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's about time someone had vision for the O's future. Really like the trade. McPhail has done more in two years than others had the prior 10. Look out for the O's in 2011.

Posted by: ScottChallenger | July 31, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that DC area has learned something from the Washington Capitals. It's nice to see a bunch of postings toutin the long term success and looking towards 2011.

Can't comment too well on the players in the minors, but so far so good with the Bedard people, so I have to trust anyone who can pick up Adam Jones.

I think Sherrill has one more year on his contract, maybe he'll want to come back if he's pitching well. He seems to like Baltimore. You know Bedard is a free agent soon too. How funny would that be?

Posted by: andygoldman | July 31, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sherrill is not all that as the Dodgers will soon see. The moves McPhail has made have been golden. Oriole fans need to make one big collective thank you to Mr. Andy McPhail. It's going to be fun again to be an Oriole fan. Two to three years.

Posted by: coastallp74 | July 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Iam not a Orioles fan, but I do think that this team will win next year. Maybe they won`t win it all but they will have a good chance. Maybe in two years they will be the team to beat. By the way, I am a Yankees fan. Now take it easy on the comments. Be nice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jahalt | July 31, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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