Wow. You can bet Jim Hendry has Andy MacPhail on speed dial.
Dating back to the trade of Sammy Sosa to the Orioles about four years ago, the Cubs and Orioles have made seven moves involving 19 players. At the rate these teams are trading players they might as well merge their two farm systems into one.
All of this trade activity can be accredited to the relationship Cubs' General Manager Jim Hendry and Orioles' President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail developed working together in the front office of the Chicago Cubs from 1995 until 2006. It's not only what you know, but who you know.
Most recently, the Cubs have moved speedster Joey Gathright to the Orioles for super-utility player Ryan Freel. The move was in the works early on Friday, May 8th and may have been expedited by Chicago upon the dislocated shoulder of slugging third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Additionally, for the past year or more the Cubs have been rumored to be seeking a trade for Orioles switch-hitting second baseman Brian Roberts. However, Roberts and the Orioles agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with a limited trade clause in February.
However, if the Cubs need to make a move down the stretch and the Orioles are sitting in the cellar, don't expect another transaction between these two teams. The Orioles appear to be tapped out of dispensable talent that could help Chicago down the stretch.
Below is a trade log dating back to the Sosa deal in 2005. You will notice quite a few recognizable names, and considering the number of obscure moves made in baseball, many of these trades can be considered crucial.
- 5/8/2009 Cubs trade OF Joey Gathright to Orioles for INF/OF Ryan Freel
- 2/2/2009 Cubs trade SP Rich Hill to Orioles for a player to be named later
- 1/18/2009 Cubs trade OF Felix Pie to Orioles for LHP Garrett Olson and RHP Henry Williamson
- 8/31/2007 Cubs trade RHP Rocky Cherry and INF Scott Moore to Orioles for Steve Trachsel
- 12/6/2006 Cubs trade INF/OF Freddie Bynum to Orioles for RHP Kevin Hart
- 1/9/2006 Cubs trade OF Corey Patterson to Orioles for SS Nate Spears and LHP Carlos Perez
- 2/2/2005 Cubs trade Sammy Sosa and cash considerations to Orioles for INF/OF Jerry Hairston, INF Mike Fontenot, and RHP Dave Crouthers
Neither team can really be considered the beneficiary of these dealings, but it might be argued that the Cubs have a slight edge. What do you think?