The Orioles traded Gregg Zaun to the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, not a bad move at all. Let’s take a step back and look at this.
Zaun was the Opening Day starter and then, for the good of the team, he took a backseat to Matt Wieters when his contract was purchased in May.
I like Zaun and thought he saved Baltimore a few runs with his ability to keep balls in the dirt in front of him. His defensive prowess has helped the Orioles pitching staff stay confident about throwing balls 59 feet or buzzing a batter up and in. He even had an unaffordable option for next season, or an option buyout.
With all that said, this is what Zaun going to Tampa means: Wieters getting more time to play. Wieters, according to manager Dave Trembley, will now play six days a week. This is roughly 130 games per season, which I think is average for a starting catcher. What else does Zaun being traded to Tampa mean? It means that Chad Moeller will now back up Wieters.
Moeller is another guy I like watching. He is very similar to Zaun in that he is light-hitting, but good defensively. Moeller also may have more familiarity with some of the pitchers. For an example, when he was designated to make room for Wieters in May, Moeller worked at Triple-A Norfolk with Chris Tillman. I think he could also help immensely with the continued development of Brian Matusz.
To sum it up, really, it’s a good trade. It saves the Birds some money, allows Zaun to play in a pennant race, and contributes to the development of Matt Wieters and the young rotation. Not a bad deal for all involved.