« Orioles trade Koji for Hunter and Davis | Main | Emotional Koji talks about being traded »

July 30, 2011

Koji trade updated

In an attempt to fill holes in the rotation and at first base for now and in the future, the Orioles have acquired first baseman Chris Davis and right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter from the Texas Rangers for reliever Koji Uehara and roughly $2 million.

The deal is pending approval from Major League Baseball because it involves an exchange of more than $1 million. The Orioles have not officially confirmed the trade.

Uehara, 36, developed into one of the best relievers in baseball this season, going 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 43 appearances. He walked eight batters and struck out 62 while allowing just 25 hits in 47 innings pitched.

But the Orioles apparently felt it was necessary to deal Uehara – arguably their best trade chip – in order to get two young players with major league experience.

Davis, 25, has three homers in 72 at-bats for the Rangers. He has 42 career homers, including 38 in his first two seasons in 2008 and 2009. But a low average (.248 in parts of four seasons) and an alarmingly high strikeout rate (301 times in 878 at-bats) has kept him shuttling between the majors and Triple-A in the past two seasons. Davis was a fifth-round pick of Texas in 2006.

Hunter, 25, is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in eight games this year. He is 23-13 lifetime as a big leaguer and was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 2010. He missed the first 82 games this season with a groin injury and has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen once he returned to the majors. He was the 54th overall pick by the Rangers in 2007.

The acquisition of Davis, who can also DH, puts the already precarious future of fist baseman Derrek Lee in further doubt.

Lee came out in the eighth inning of Saturday’s first game and was not in the lineup for the second game. The 36-year-old Lee is batting .248 with 12 homers this season.

Potential fits for Lee would be the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Uehara made $3 million in 2011 and had $4 million option for 2012 that vests with 12 more appearances (55 total). He was the Orioles’ first Japan-born player when they signed him to a two-year free agent deal before the 2009 season.

In three seasons with the Orioles, Uehara was 4-7 with a 3.03 ERA in 98 games, including 12 starts and 41 games finished. He was 13 of 15 in save opportunities in 2010.

The Rangers wanted to shore up their bullpen, and Uehara seemed like a fit. However, he has battled with difficulty pitching in the heat during his career, with the worst example coming in May 2010 in Arlington, in which he was bathed in sweat during an appearance. .

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:20 PM | | Comments (23)


I hope Uehara-sensei gets the last out in the World Series.

Adios, Koji.

Bummer. Sad to see him go, but he deserves it...I know I've seen commentary on Davis and Hunter on threads here but I don't remember whether it was good or bad- knowing McPhail, I'm betting "mixed bag" at best.

Hurry up and start approving peoples comments.

" in May 2010 in Arlington, in which he was bathed in sweat during an appearance. ."

Dan, seriously? Who isnt drenched with sweat in Texas during the Summer?

Its not the heat as much as it is the humidity. Koji won't have to worry about all of that humidity in Texas. Go win yourself a WS ring Koji. Congrats on breaking free from purgatory.
I'm not a Phillies fan, but have to give a lot of praise to Ruben Amaro Jr. and what he's doing with that team. Pat Gillick showed him the way and he's building that team up in the exact same way that the HOF GM would. Phillies have the best baseball front office in this region. Ravens have the best football front office in the region.

Sounds like just a money deal. Didn't get much else.

How about these trades:

Angelos for Mark Cuban.

Andy MacFail and cash considerations to the Cubs for a scout to be named later.

The Stockstill Brothers to the Mariners for 3 ticket office interns.

Joe Jordan to the Royals for the guy that spreads sand on the pitchers mound when it's raining during games.

Mike Flanagan to the Padres for the guy that runs their scoreboard.

Buck's pitching coaches to MASN for Jim Palmer as pitching coach.

These all may seem like a joke, but longer term the team would get better. Addition by subtraction.

I can't wait to see how people rail on the front office for this one. This is a WIN WIN for the O's, and it allows them to unload Lee too. Anything they get for him is a plus. Davis was killing it in AAA, and Hunter is a fit for the rotation.


Koji will just love the hot weather in Texas!

It's ridiculously humid in the Dallas area. Love the people who comment on here who obviously have never left Dundalk. In any event, we got two guys who have performed at the major league level for a 36-year-old set up man. Terrific return. I would have hoped we could get this much for Guthrie and we got it for Koji. Excellent deal for the O's.

great... we trade our most reliable guy at throwing strikes and now have swinging strikeout kings at both corners. does Davis have a loose glove to go along with the SOs?
Koji you were great.

"Angels working hard on Uehara trade talks with Orioles"!/JimBowdenESPNxm/status/97201869738344448

I would have preferred 20 y.o. DR Jean Segura

who would be a worthy heir-apparent at 2B - good pop & good base stealing ability.

I agree with Luther's Leppers...this is a great trade for the Orioles. They get an instant insert into the rotation, they goet a solid up and coming first baseman, all for a relief pitcher. Looks like lee will be moving also, hopefully for a second baseman or a relief pitcher. If we can get a couple of young arms for Guthrie we will be looking good for the rest of this season and next. Lot of potential here for a really solid nucleus to build on in the future. Things are looking brighter in Birdland. Davis is weak versus lefties but hopefully this is something he will overcome. Anyone who says this isn't one of the better trades we have had recently is just being pessimistic (not that I can blame them after 14 losing seasons), but this reminds me of the Adam jones trade as far as potential is concerned. Davis is very accredited (5th round pick) and Tommy Hunter is a former first round pick who went 13-4 for the Rangers last year. Very good trade indeed!

Wow. Andy once again pulls off a great trade. If he had gotten one of Hunter/Davis it would have been okay, but both...very nice. Way to stick to your guns Andy, and make them pay for Koji.

Alex Anthroplis (sp?) may be creative and aggressive, but Andy is truly a Peter Angelos type of wheeler-n-dealer; Unrelenting, not dissuaded, determined and cool as ice.

Typical MacPhail trade, a 280 lb. pitcher and a first baseman who strikes out over 30% of the time. We never get any top prospects for our talent. Always players that haven't made it with the team that we got them from. We already have Mark Reynolds, Flex Pie, etc.
So how does this trade help us?

I have to agree with the folks who don't think this is a great trade.

Two guys who have been mediocre major leaguers. Don't we already have one guy who strikes out all the time? Do we really need two?

And Hunter comes back from injury and is in the bullpen? Why not the rotation? Makes you wonder.

I'm underwhelmed by Andy M. once again.

Well, on the bright side, we are only losing 16-1 in the third inning as I write this. It's always a source of pride knowing that the O's will be leading off every sportscast tonight and tomorrow!

A check of both these guys show Davis to have solid power and batting average but he is slow and strikes out constantly.

Hunter seems to pitch better in the majors than he does in the minors. Decent enough ERA and WHIP but definitely not a power pitcher. Very few Ks.

Everyone watching masn?

16-1 in the 5th.....

The Oriole Way - PA and AM style

Oh, but we can celebrate Hunter and Davis now....... Let the media hype begin

Good for Koji. I wish him the best.

Excellent trade. The one person under many names's Wayne....he has found another place to vent....he doesn't like this trade and he doesn't like it under various names so that makes it seem like over 50% of O's fans lack the good sense to see what an excellent deal this is.
Just keep rolling Andy.... we are almost there....ring #3 coming soon!!!!

Trade the rest of the damn pitching staff. but don't trade Koji. Understandable give that he is the only pitcher anybody else wants. What a team. Year after year after year of failure.

See this Utube video to get a look at Aaron Baker.

Texas fan here....I'm in the Dallas area.

Tommy Hunter has the potential to be a decent mid-rotation starter. His fastball is in the low to mid 90's. He needs to develop an out pitch. Very likeable guy that Orioles fans will enjoy.

Chris Davis could develop into a superstar if he ever puts it all together. He is a gold glove caliber 1st basemen. If he gets stuck at 3rd base, he won't be nearly as effective in the field. When he was first called up a few seasons ago, he tore it up with 20+ HR's in the second half of the season. Since then, he's had a couple of seasons of struggling with the bat at the ML level, while absolutely crushing pitching at the AAA level while shuttling back and forth between the two. He is still young. Like I said, if he ever puts it all together, you have a potential superstar on your hands. Maybe this change in scenery will help him accomplish that.

I believe this trade is a win-win for both teams.

Koji will help Texas for this season and maybe another one or two.

Tommy Hunter is a long term pitching addition.

Chris Davis has great ability.

Andy made great trades to get JJ Hardy and Adam Jones.
Lets add this to his string.

Sure wish the Orioles still had Matt Albers in the pen.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

Baltimore Sun coverage
Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Minor league resources
Web links to official sites, stats, schedules and more for O's affiliates and other area teams

International League (AAA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Eastern League (AA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Carolina League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

South Atlantic League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

New York-Penn League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Appalachian League (R)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics
Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected