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Baltimore Orioles: Oscar Salazar Dealt to Padres for Reliever Meredith

PHOENIX - MAY 25:  Relief pitcher Cla Meredith #43 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on May 25, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Padres defeated the Diamondbacks 9-7.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IJuly 20, 2009

Formerly known as a key bench player for the Baltimore Orioles, super-utility man Oscar Salazar will be heading for the West Coast in the near future. 

Recently, the San Diego Padres dealt relief pitcher Cla Meredith to the O’s for Salazar, adding an extra arm to the bullpen for the Birds.

Before we take an in-depth look at this deal, let us first glance at the man the Orioles got in return.

Meredith, a submarine-style pitcher who Andy MacPhail calls “a poor man’s Chad Bradford”, appeared in 153 games for the Padres between the ‘07 and ‘08 seasons.  In ‘06, he set the franchise’s rookie record with 28 consecutive scoreless appearances.

This season, he is 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA, 13 walks, and 20 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. 

Now here’s the scary part. 

So far this year, batters are hitting for a solid .324 average against him. 

Want me to freak you O’s fans out a little more?

Over the past three seasons, opponents have batted a respective .296, .290, and this year’s .324 against him.

To put it simply, the guy is a ground-ball pitcher that opposing hitters love to take their hacks against.  That is always nice to know.

Time to analyze the deal.

So the O’s give up a man who can play first base, third base, and even some shortstop.  They trade away a .419 hitter with power and came through in the clutch.  They did all of this for a “poor man’s Chad Bradford”. 

So this is a bad thing, right?

Not necessarily.

Looking more into this trade, we can see one intriguing situation.  Does this deal set up a potential George Sherrill or Danys Baez swap?

Thus far, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have had their interests in the team’s closer, and Baez is sure to grab attention from a contending program.  Maybe this deal has its benefits after all.

Looking from a different point of view, if one of the two relievers previously named is not dealt, then young reliever Kam Mickolio would have to be sent back down to Triple-A Norfolk.  This would seem unfair, as Mickolio has yet to allow a hit in the ‘09 campaign.  But like our parents have always told us, “Life isn’t fair.”  How true.

All-in-all, one thing is for certain:  No one knows for sure what the O’s front office plans to make of this deal. 

Is their another big trade looming?

Is the 26-year old Meredith a keeper on the big league roster?

Hopefully, these answers will be provided over the next few days.

Before we end this piece; however, I just wanted to thank Oscar Salazar for his services as an O. 

You were a great pinch-hitter, and I hope you have success in San Diego!

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