In exchange for Hunter, the Orioles received outfielder Junior Lake in return. Before this day, I had never registered the existence of Junior Lake. He is a 25-year-old righty outfielder, listed at 6'3" and 215 lbs, who has spent most of this year slumming in the minor leagues. Lake played in 104 games for the Cubs last year and batted .211/.246/.351, which is probably not going to excite you.
But then, Hunter continuing to be in the Orioles bullpen probably wasn't something that excited you either. A 3.63 ERA for a guy you thought would be a back-end of the bullpen reliever is not what you want, especially not with a $4.5 million price tag.
Hunter was a pending free agent, so getting anything for him at all is a nice move. And today that means the Orioles have shed both Bud Norris and Hunter from their bullpen, replaced with Mychal Givens and perhaps Mike Wright. Four months into the season, the Orioles will finally be able to option a reliever again. Like Norris, Hunter was an important part of the 2014 team. Like Norris, he was probably taking up the space of a potentially more useful player.
Assuming no money changes hands, some of the money the O's will no longer have to pay Hunter will probably go towards paying the last two months of recently-acquired Gerardo Parra's salary, which is another reason that making this trade is not a bad thing for the Orioles.
We will always have this, Tommy. Always.
Tommy Hunter is like... my beer my beer!! pic.twitter.com/5enLtomJxP— Marylandsportsblog (@MDsportsblog) September 19, 2014