Monday, January 28, 2008

It's all about momentum

For all of you who have been waiting for all the Erik Bedard trade rumors to end and for a deal to be completed... you're going to have to keep waiting. However, trade talks are gaining some serious momentum and it looks like a deal is closer than ever before. The reports this morning even made it sound like the deal was done.

The centerpiece in the trade package coming back from Seattle is, and has always been expected to be, centerfielder Adam Jones. He has been playing winter ball in Venezuela, but isn't anymore. The news that a deal was struck started when Adam Jones told a Venezuelan newspaper that he had to leave the team (in Venezuela) in order to go to Baltimore and take a physical, and that he was honored to be the centerpiece in a trade for a pitcher of Bedard's caliber. Of course that started a chain reaction of pure chaos. Officials from both teams were contacted, neither very happy about receiving phone calls from the press, and both denying that an agreement has been struck. Other players that have long been rumored to have been included in trade talks were all surveyed and none of them were aware of any deal (usually, the player and their agents are the first people to know when they are traded). It is all confusing and, most of all, frustrating.

However, there is hope. Word is that the deal has yet to be reviewed by Peter Angelos. The report is that he has been unavailable all day today, so he hasn't been able to review the possible deal and give it the yay or nay. If he holds true to his agreement with Andy MacPhail, this should only be a formality, but it would still be enough to keep the deal from being completed and therefore keep all the involved players in the dark.

It's possible that Adam Jones' "knowledge" could have come from an accidental leak, or maybe he misinterpreted something he heard. It's impossible to tell.

Another positive sign is it looks like the Mariners could already be lining up Adam Jones' replacement. If the Mariners are looking at adding another outfielder, they are likely preparing for Jones' departure.

I don't know about you, but I'll be anxiously awaiting more details tonight or tomorrow. Angelos should be available to meet with MacPhail about this trade, and a decision could be reached. Or we could get more of the same, and hear nothing but rumors and be strung along in the Bedard-trade-talks for another week or two. I can't help but think we'll be hearing more than rumors.


jason said...

Who is this guy we're talking about trading for? Is he any good?

Ryan H. said...

He's one of those "toolsie" guys scouts love. He's got speed, although he's not very good at stealing bases. That shows up more in the field, where he's got great range in centerfield. His routes need some improvement, but he's only been in the OF for 2 years now (converted SS) so I'd say he'll improve. He's got an excellent arm. He's got some power, too. He hit 25 homeruns in 420 ABs in AAA last year. Here's a link to his total stat line:

He's 22 and has been compared to Torii Hunter. That seems pretty accurate, but he's got some work to do before he reaches that potential. His plate discipline/pitch recognition needs a lot of work. He's never had a good BB/KK ratio in the minors, and so far he has 6 BBs and 43 Ks in only 139 MLB ABs. That's why I think his career could start off a little bumpy, until he adjusts.

If this trade does go down, and he becomes an Oriole, hopefully he does adjust and doesn't just fizzle out.

jason said...

Seems like we're trading a sure thing for a gamble. Why is a contract extension out of the question for Bedard? Does he want out?

Ryan H. said...

Trading for any prospect is a gamble, but Jones is probably one of the higher percentage plays available. He wouldn't be all we got back either. When the deal was rumored to have been done, the deal was Jones plus a MLB reliever and 2 other prospects.

As for Bedard. The situation has him not wanting to sign an extension. He'll be a free agent in 2 years and he's VERY interested in testing the market, and he's not interested in signing here if there isn't a good sign of us competing for a playoff spot while he's here. Considering that the O's are more than a few players away from even thinking playoffs, it would be very hard to convince him to change his mind and re-sign. And trading him for a big return could greatly help the rebuilding process.