In the mood to get a little pre-Winter Meetings house cleaning done, Baltimore and their mortal enemy Pittsburgh completed a trade that saw RHP Jhondaniel Medina swapped for IF/OF Yamaico Navarro.
Medina is a 19 year old RHP signed out of Venezuela in 2010. He profiles as a swing man / bullpen arm who sports a low 90s fastball along with a decent change up and slider. Medina was briefly suspended by the O's earlier this season for an unspecified reason.
Navarro has bounced around of late. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, he signed with the Red Sox as a 17 year old back in 2005. He was traded to Kansas City along with another guy for Mike Aviles at one point. And was traded from K.C. to Pittsburgh for a couple of minor leaguers last winter. He can play all around the infield and fill in at an outfield corner if needed. Very limited major league experience, just 168 plate appearances over 3 years. But decent minor league numbers (.279/ .350 / .437) over the course of 7 seasons.
So basically, the O's seem to have traded an inconsequential low-upside arm for some additional middle infield depth that will compete for playing time along with recently acquired Alexi Casilla and Danny Valencia for at bats. Honey Badger GM gonna honey badger.
The bigger issue with this deal is that RHP Stuart Pomeranz was DFA'd in order to make room for Navarro on the 40 man roster. Disco Stu became a bit of a cult hero around these parts last season as the one-time promising prospect overcame personal and professional demons and demonstrated some tremendous strike out rates while with Bowie and Norfolk (13.5 K/9!). He made his major league debut in a blowout vs. Texas on May 7th, 2012, pitching 3 shut out innings after an ineffective Brian Matusz was chased from the game. He would ultimately pitch just 3 more innings this season before succumbing to an oblique injury. On Twitter, Steve Melewski wondered if this injury is still effecting Stu, and that perhaps that had some bearing on the decision to dfa him. The O's will be fortunate if he clears waivers. He has a lot of talent, and if he can get hale and hearty he could be a valuable member of the O's bullpen for years to come. I certainly hope to see him there.