O’s Trade Oscar Salazar For Pitcher Cla Meredith

With the Orioles needing to free up a roster spot, they have dealt Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Cla Meredith.  Salazar has been a nice righty bat off the bench for the team, hitting .419/.455/.613 this year after a solid .284/.372/.506 in 94 at bats last year.  He doesn’t really have a set position currently, being mostly limited to first and third – the former of which he plays just OK and the latter fairly poorly.  He should be much more valuable in the NL, as the will get more opportunities to do what he does best (hit).  Salazar is already 31 years old though, so it’s not exactly a huge loss for the O’s. Meredith is a 26 year-old right-handed reliever.  His strike-out rate is down some this year (4.91 K/9, compared to a career 6.2 mark) and his walks are up (3.19 BB/9, 2.4 career), but he’s still getting a ton of groundballs (62.2%, though that’s lower than his 67.4% career rate). His FIPs for his career are 2.93, 3.49, 3.91, and 3.54 this year, with tRAs of (and keep in mind these are total runs and not earned runs) 2.58, 3.65, 3.87, and 4.21.  Those indicate a solid, though unspectacular, pitcher who should fit in just fine in the O’s bullpen –  possibly allowing them to more easily trade another reliever. As a side-arming sinkerballer, Meredith may bring back some memories of Chad Bradford. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I would have preferred the O’s pick up a younger prospect, but I think this is an OK haul.  There was talk of Salazar taking over for Mora at third next year, but I never thought that was going to be a concrete plan so it makes some sense to get a major leaguer – even if it’s a reliever – instead of risk losing Salazar on waivers for nothing in attempting to send him down to the minors (or trading Felix Pie instead, who I still believe in). I’m pretty happy with the deal overall. [Edit: Just realized that there still needs to be another move made to free up that roster spot, assuming Meredith takes a place in the pen.  Perhaps that means that a trade of a reliever – Baez? Sherrill? – is really imminent.]