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Never a doubt, Andy, never a doubt.

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Andy MacPhail: Liking the future he sees.
Andy MacPhail: Liking the future he sees.

Rob Neyer:

Some deals just barely need any comment at all. Like this one...

I'm not going to criticize the Dodgers for trading Josh Bell. Who knows? Maybe Casey Blake will live forever.

What I will do is send up a big hip-hip-hooray for the Orioles, because the single best thing any rebuilding manager can do, ever, is trade a relief pitcher in late July for a couple of solid prospects.

Let me repeat for anyone not paying attention: a relief pitcher.

Relief pitchers are, well, I would say that they're "fungible" except that word always makes me think of a massively fun and rigid airship. Instead I'll say that a relief pitcher, purely in terms of value, is not worth two solid prospects.


If I were an Orioles fan, I would be organizing a party right now.

The 32-year-old Sherrill certainly will have value beyond this season given that he'll remain under team control beyond this season and is well established as a reliable lefty reliever, but it's debatable how much more valuable he will be than the 26-year-old Leach or the 27-year-old Kuo, neither of whom is making as much as a half a million dollars this year.

So what did the Dodgers give up to avoid a replay of last year's back-breaking Stairs homer? Too much.


The reason the Orioles should be clicking their heels over this deal, and Dodgers fans should hot under the collar, is Josh Bell. He's not true blue-chipper, but as a 22-year-old switch-hitting third baseman who was hitting .296/.386/.497 in Double-A this season, he has a high ceiling and fills a big hole in their organization....With top young talent in the outfield and behind the plate, Bell gives the O's a big bat for their infield and gets them that much closer to a lineup that can swing with the big boys in the AL East. Similarly, the Dodgers just lost a player who appeared to be on his way toward filling an organizational hole....For a player who projects as a major league starter and potential middle-of-the-order bat in the near future, the Dodgers didn't get nearly enough, nor did they address a significant need. Before this trade, a playoff exit would have been disappointing, now it will be unacceptable.

Johnson’s ceiling is a back end rotation guy, but Josh Bell may be the guy we really regret losing in this deal.
Bell has many scenarios that could play out:

1. Stays at 3rd base and learns to hit LHP then we were screwed.
2. Stays at 3rd base, never learns to hit LHP, we are still screwed.
3. Moves to first base and learns to hit LHP , then we are still screwed.
4. Moves to first base, never learns to hit LHP – still bummed
5. Stays at 3rd, never hits either arm – okay
6. Moves to 1st, can’t hit either arm – okay

From the current major league team you have to like the addition. For the future, we may regret this deal.

This is your celebratory Open Thread!