OK, you know what, now that I'm thinking about it I'm slightly more bothered than I thought I was. Is there any reason to trade Matt Riley to Texas' bullpen for Ramon Nivar? Not really. Is there any reason to give up on Riley completely this quickly? Not really.
If he had stunk in the bullpen, then sure, let it go. But you've got a guy with stuff here; this is obviously no guarantee of success or anything, but it's more than can be said for a ton of pitchers still in our system. It's more than can be said for Roddy Lopez for God's sake. Now Lopez is clearly the superior pitcher in the present, but the Baltimore Orioles are hardly sporting a surplus of talented, majors-ready arms, and trading one of the guys with the most upside (still, yes) for Ramon freaking Nivar is a little wacky.
Why wait until now? If you were going to trade him, this should've been done at least two weeks ago instead of farting around and pretending he had a shot at the fifth spot when it was absolutely clear he wasn't beating out Chen or Bauer unless he threw six innings of no-hit ball at some point, and he wasn't going to do that. Riley is a flaky guy but the Boston Red Sox were full of flakes last season. I'm not saying you treat Matt Riley like you treat Manny Ramirez or Pedro Martinez, but you just don't make this deal for the sake of making it. Give him a shot at the bullpen or trade him, but make up your mind and don't do it less than a week before the season starts. That way maybe you get more than Ramon Nivar.
This further exhibits the extreme lack of creativity that Mike Flanagan and Jim Beattie have shown since day one. Got a rather minor problem? Trade it for Ramon Nivar!
We got stuck with a jab here by a guy that gave Chan Ho Park all that money, got around it, and is building what really could be a very good pitching staff in a couple of years or even in the here and now. I'm not a big believer in Texas, but John Hart is not as dumb as I thought he was a couple of years ago, and Flanagan and Beattie lose a few more points for making this trade.
If Riley blows out his arm or just bombs, it won't make this trade better. If Ramon Nivar hits 40 homers it won't make the trade itself better, it will just have yielded surprising (and lucky) results. BeatAgan know they've traded Riley for peanuts. This will always have been a dumb trade to make.
And just for note, we threw in Keith McDonald to SWEETEN THE DEAL.