If you hadn't heard, the deal is basically done. Slugger Mark Trumbo is joining the Orioles along with another player from the Seattle Mariners. Unfortunately, it is going to cost Baltimore one of it's own. Steve Clevenger, a graduate of Mount St. Joseph's High School, is headed out west. So let's take this time to remember "The Pride of Pigtown" and his time as a Bird.
The good times
His shining on-field moment may have been this past September when he hit his first (and only, to this point) career grand slam in the same inning that Nolan Reimold also hit a grand slam. What makes it even more special is that it came against the eventual World Series champion (*shudder*) Kansas City Royals.
That was not his only piece of magic in the black and orange. Flashback another year to May 10, 2014. The O's were hosting the Houston Astros, a team that Clevenger will now be a division rival of, and things were tied up 4-4 in the bottom of the tenth. That is, until Clevenger roped a double down the right field corner to score J.J. Hardy and give the Orioles a 5-4 win.
And of course, there was pie afterwards. There's always pie.
But for him, I'm sure the time he will remember most was his paternity leave near the end of the summer. He and his wife, Tiffany, welcomed their first child, Payton Lee Clevenger, on August 25. Congratulations, you two!
It just gives you the warm fuzzies to hear a newly-minted father talk about his newborn like that, doesn't it? Oh god, here come the tears.
This was near the end of a 2015 season that represented a nice little bump in offensive output from Clevenger. Over 30 games in the bigs, he slashed .287/.314/.426 to go along with two home runs and 15 RBI. With Triple-A Norfolk, he stepped it up another notch, hitting .305/.375/.393 with four bombs and 32 RBI over 75 games.
The bad times
But overall, we can all pretty easily understand that the Cleve was expendable. He was the third choice catcher by quite a wide margin behind Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph. He has a career slash line of .228/.280/.327 and while he did post a 0.4 WAR last year, according to Baseball Reference, overall, he is not a full-time, major league caliber player.
Manager Buck Showalter has always seemed impressed by his ability to swing the bat a little bit, but it never came close to making up the gap between him and the two backstops in front of him, especially when you figure in that his defense does little to inspire confidence (He has thrown out just 14 percent of attempted stolen bases for his career).
We hardly knew ye
Over three seasons, Clevenger spent just 69 games in Baltimore and was never all that great, but I would be lying if I said I won't miss him and his crustache just a little bit.
The addition of Trumbo makes the Orioles better right now and it may give Clevenger the opportunity to make it somewhere else. Not to mention, don't forget that Clevenger was part of the deal that sent 2015 Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta (I got nauseous just typing that) to the Chicago Cubs. Anything to make that deal feel just a little bit better would be great. Although anything short of an MVP performance from Trumbo won't completely heal the burn and, let's be honest, that isn't gonna happen.
For those who care, the Orioles will take on the Mariners at Camden Yards from May 17 through May 19. The O's take the trip out to Safeco June 30 through July 3. See you then, Steve.
Thanks for reading! Let me hear your thoughts on the deal in the comments down below. And if you are feeling fancy, throw in your memories of Clevenger. Come on, there's gotta be at least one or two, right? Hit me up on Twitter (@_TyYoung) for all things non-Orioles.