Results tagged ‘ Andy MacPhail ’
The Baltimore Orioles all but completed a trade with the Arizona Diamonbacks yesterday, sending pitchers Dave Hernandez and Kam Mickolio and acquiring third baseman Mark Reynolds.
By getting Reynolds to play third base, the Orioles are pretty much acknowledging that Josh Bell is not ready to play third base in 2011, and may be close to writing him off. Reynolds turned 27 in August, and is signed through 2012 at a very reasonable $6.25 million per year. By the time Reynolds’ contract has expired, Bell will be 26 himself.
Reynolds is better than Bell, no question. Yes, Reynolds hit .198 in 2010, but he also hit .260 in 2009. He strikes out a lot, as everyone knows*; but he draws 70 walks a year. If you look at his career numbers — .242/.334/.483 — you’ll see that he’s a better hitter than anyone on the 2010 Orioles except for Luke Scott and Nick Markakis. He’ll make the Orioles better.
Especially I don’t think they gave up very much. I’ve shared my opinions on Kam Mickolio already. I also saw Dave Hernandez pitch at Norfolk in 2009. He’s kind of the opposite of Pedro Viola; he doesn’t have great velocity but his pitches move. His pitches move so much that he doesn’t have great command of them. There are a few pitchers like him; they can’t command their best stuff and when they reduce their stuff to increase command, their stuff is very hittable. Most of the time, they never quite learn to command their best stuff; on the other hand, Carlos Marmol is like this. It’s fair to say that the Orioles acquired a cleanup-hitting third baseman for two guys who may turn out to be okay.
On the other hand, Reynolds isn’t a great cleanup hitter. He’s not a star; he fills a glaring hole. The Reynolds trade fits right in with Andy MacPhail’s history. Going back to his days with the Cubs, MacPhail has been a “tactical” GM. He’s been able to find available talent to fill holes relatively cheaply. That’s good, when you have a solid team with a couple of holes. That’s not so good when you’re building a team. The players you’ve acquired reach the end of the line just when the team’s on the verge of making it.
So, while I can’t fault the acquisition of Mark Reynolds, I have the nagging suspicion that it won’t matter much.
* Reynolds has just turned 27. He’s already struck out more times in his career than Gus Zernial, Bill Freehan, and Al Oliver.