Every December and every July for the past few seasons, Miguel Tejada has been a standby of the trade rumor mill. No longer. The Orioles, looking to start afresh, are shopping all their big-name players this winter and today, they traded Tejada to the Astros for five younguns: Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, and Mike Constanzo. The reaction at UmpBump was swift and scathing:
Nick to UmpBump Staff – 1:52 pm
Re: Tejada to the Astros
Is there anything more fun than watching Ed Wade run the Astros into the ground?
Paul to UmpBump Staff – 2:01 pm
Re: re: Tejada to the Astros
Yes. Watching Ed Wade run the Phillies into the ground. I miss those days.
Other blogs concur. “That’s a fine haul for Baltimore,” notes MLB Trade Rumors. “The Astros pretty much cleaned out their farm system for two years of an average-hitting third baseman.” Bugs and Cranks takes a quick look at the kiddies’ numbers and concludes that “the Houston Five are a couple lefthanded bats with some pop – particularly Scott, who had 18 homers last year – and three pitchers with varying degrees of promise.” Over at the Fanhouse, the consensus is the same: “For a team that’s short on young players, the Astros dealt a lot of them for two years of Tejada. Everyone knew that the Orioles were desperate to move Tejada’s salary. To get so much in return for a player coming off a down year is a feather in the cap of Andy MacPhail.”
But in Baltimore, the reaction has been very different. On the Baltimore Sun’s blog, Bill Ordine laments:
The Orioles sent Miguel Tejada to Houston, and for all those who thought the four-time All Star shortstop would be tasty trade bait, well, think again.
There are five guys coming here — outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate and third baseman Michael Costanzo.
If there’s a household name in there, it’s Luke Scott. And if it is a household name for you, you must live in Scott’s neighborhood.
The deal must have been a hard one for O’s fans who, just a few years ago, were being offered Manny Ramirez and Matt Clement for their four-time All-Star shortstop. And some of these players aren’t exactly hot young prospects with tons of upside—Scott is 29.
But—and now it starts to get interesting—some of those who think Baltimore’s haul for Tejada is suspiciously slim think the Orioles were desperate to unload a player who is sure to be named in the Mitchell report tomorrow. Tejada was linked to Rafael Palmeiro’s steroid probe two years ago, and the blogosphere is rife with conspiracies about Baltimore dumping him today before his name became as poisoned as Barry Bonds’, who is currently out of work and under indictment. FanNation notes that Pettitte also signed his contract today—and has also been mentioned as a possible Mitchell reportee. And for its part, the Associated Press tried to ask about the timing of the deal vis-a-vis the Mitchell investigation, and got stonewalled.
So what do you say UmpBumpers? Who got the better of this deal? The Astros, who get Miguel Tejada for a bunch of guys who aren’t that good anyway? Or the Orioles, who get a cadre of new young(ish) players, divest themselves of Tejada’s salary, and manage to pull it all off just before what little value he has retained takes a nosedive?