Gregg Zaun Traded To The Rays

It’s very hard to judge the move right now, but Gregg Zaun has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for a Player To Be Named Later.  I pushed for the O’s to sign Zaun before the season (and they obviously listened to me), and he’s rewarded the team with $5 M in performance (1.1 Wins Above Replacement) on the strength of an underappreciated .244/.355/.375 line. Even with Matt Wieters up, I didn’t think Zaun would be traded given his “mentoring” role on the team.  Chad Moeller (.200/.259/.360, before being sent down when Wieters was called up) will take his place as the back-up catcher.  Zaun is only making about $0.5 M the rest of this year, and has a $2 M option for next year with a $0.5 M buyout.  Given that he’s likely to produce about $2 M in value for the rest of the year, the excess value (assuming the buyout is used, which isn’t a slam dunk – Zaun at $2 M next year would probably be a bargain too) would be $1 M to the Rays, plus whatever small increase you’d want to give their playoff chances. That would indicate a return of about a C level prospect, but we’ll see what happens. As a fan I’m very sad to see ZAUN (!) go, but I sure hope he leads that team of younger whipper-snappers in Tampa Bay to the playoffs this year. ZAUN for World Series MVP!