Not much has happened for the Orioles yet this off-season, and while that certainly doesn't mean nothing exciting will happen (the Adam Jones trade happened in February, for example), for the impatient among us it's hard to watch the big doings by other teams. I mean, I can sit here all day and say that Albert Pujols contract is ridiculous (because it is) and that it'll be a burden for the last several years (because it will), but if the Orioles had done it I'd be flipping out happy because at the end of the day that kind of thing never happens to the Orioles (for better or worse) and it does happen to be Albert Freaking Pujols.
So what HAVE the Orioles done? For one thing, the PTBNL from the trade that brought the Orioles backup catcher Taylor Teagarden was named, and it is the infielder known as Greg Miclat. Miclat is nothing special, but I always liked the guy because he could get on base. And because he's short and squatty. Miclat joins Randy Henry in the Texas Rangers system, and the Orioles get in return a cheap backup catcher who won't be a free agent until 2016. I still don't see all that much value in the trade, but having Teagarden under team control for that long is a bonus. It's possible I won't have to wonder who will be the backup catcher again until I'm 37 years old!
After hearing that the Orioles might make a move for pitching all week, it finally happened today. Was it Gavin Floyd, whose name has been bandied about? No, the Orioles went in a completely different direction and traded for Dana Eveland, who is not only named Dana, but is also not good at baseball. Eveland is a 27-year old lefty who has pitched for the Brewers, Diamindbacks, Athletics, Blue Jays, Pirates, and Dodgers. The 29.2 innings he pitched for the Dodgers last year were pretty much the only decent major league innings he's ever pitched, and that's because in those five starts he managed to walk only six batters. In his other 330.2 major league innings he has walked 174 batters, or 4.7 per nine innings. Oh, and he doesn't strike many guys out either.
Eveland's silver lining, if you choose to see it, is that his career FIP is 4.38, quite a bit lower than his ERA of 5.52. But I'm prepared to not give a crap about that because the only season in which his ERA hasn't been higher than his FIP was last year with the Dodgers (remember, 29 innings). I'm guessing that Eveland's career BABIP of .341 is less to do with bad luck and more to do with being lousy.
Going to the Dodgers in this meh trade are minor leaguers Tyler Henson and Jarret Martin. Henson, a right-handed outfielder who spent 2011 at AAA Norfolk, might amount to a fourth outfielder if he's lucky. He's a career .263/.322/.387 hitter in the minors (six seasons). In other words, he's worse than Matt Angle. Martin is a LHP who put up substandard numbers in rookie ball in 2010 and with the Delmarva Shorebirds in 2011. He walks a lot of guys and like the rest of the minor leaguers to leave the Orioles this season, probably won't amount to anything in the majors.
That doesn't Dana Eveland is worth anything. But here is what Dan Duquette had to say about him:
We think Dana is a qualified Major League pitcher who won 15 games last year between Albuquerque and Los Angeles. He provides depth and can compete for a starting spot on our roster in 2012.
Well, ok then.
The final news on the day is the Rule 5 draft, in which the Orioles selected infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Chicago Cubs. Flaherty has spent four years in the Cubs' minor league system, hitting .278/.346/.462 in 1877 plate appearances. Duquette cited his high draft status (first round in 2008), the college program he came from (Vanderbilt), and his batting skills for reasons they grabbed him. Flaherty can play 2B, 3B, SS, and a little bit of outfield. Look out, cult hero Robert Andino.
I know this isn't the year to sign up a bunch of expensive free agents, but I really hope Duquette has something better up his sleeve than Dana Eveland.