If we learned anything from last season, it's that Dan Duquette will seize any opportunity he can find to make what he thinks could be a marginal upgrade to the Orioles roster. He will scour everywhere for players he may cast aside a week later, and he will make moves without any regard to sentiment or anything like that.
I have taken to calling it the Dan Duquette roster merry-go-round, and this may not really be apt, because a merry-go-round implies that if you get on, you will go around and come back and get off again. This is more like some kind of Stephen King merry-go-round, where you disappear from view on the far side of the ride, as the carnival music suddenly changes into some evil-sounding minor key, then you never actually re-appear and you are never seen ever again. Somewhere, Pennywise the Clown laughs, echoing throughout the amusement park as the next unsuspecting victim sits down on the horse.
Today's fresh blood is Todd Redmond, claimed off of waivers from the Reds. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, Trayvon Robinson has been designated for assignment.
Redmond is a right-handed pitcher who's turning 28 in May and has started 200 games in eight minor league seasons across three organizations. He has not been a bad pitcher at any of his stops. In the 2012 season he had a 3.63 ERA in 148.2 IP. That's not bad for a former 39th-round pick. Redmond has appeared in a total of one big league game and is precisely the kind of expendable pitcher that organizations cast off at this time of year. By the time you're 27, your prospect star has probably faded quite a lot.
Duquette sees something in Redmond, and that something may be "organizational depth" - he is probably slated for Norfolk, maybe the rotation, maybe the bullpen, and if there is a disaster in the Baltimore staff or bullpen, or if he pulls a Miguel Gonzalez in AAA, then he will be summoned. If not, then he will exist at the roster margin to be cast aside the next time there is a vaguely tantalizing name dangling in front of Duquette on waivers.
For every waiver claim, there must also be someone whose time has run out, and that someone is Robinson, who was out of options and between McLouth, Reimold, Avery and Hoes was probably not likely to make the team even as a 4th outfielder. So the Hayden Penn trade tree has finally run out, with Robinson having been traded here for Robert Andino. Robinson may clear waivers himself and stay in the organization at Norfolk.
If at any point during the 2013 season, you find yourself uttering the phrase, "I really wish the Orioles had Trayvon Robinson on the team," then things have gone really funky, and probably not in a good way.
The same may very well be true of Redmond, but today Duquette thinks Redmond can help more than Robinson, so here he is.