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April 1, 2009

Orioles: MacPhail explains trade

Macphail.jpgHere's Andy MacPhail explaining the rationale for the Hayden Penn/Robert Andino deal and how it came about:

"When it became evident he wasn't going to break with us, we were pretty much looking at exposing him to waivers. ... We didn't think he would clear, so we called clubs that we knew had had an interest over the last couple of years and inquired about him. I happened to be sitting with (Marlins baseball operations chief) Larry Beinfest when Hayden was pitching and he asked about him. So one of the calls we made was to Larry asking if he had interest. He did."

The Orioles had given every indication they might make the defensive sacrifice and use Ryan Freel as the backup shortstop so that they could carry 13 pitchers, but Freel did not look particularly good there this spring and club officials obviously weren't sold on either Chris Gomez or Jolbert Cabrera.

"We’re too thin in the middle infield in terms of who can play defense there,'' MacPhail said. "We really weren’t comfortable with backup shortstops. We know Cesar, like any shortstop, is going to need a couple of days off. I think he played in 130 games last year. You need somebody for those other 30 games. Blake Davis broke a bone in his foot and we have Ryan Freel targeted for different positions. That was an area of need for us."

So, six weeks of talk about a 13-man pitching staff evaporated in a matter of minutes.

"It’s going to really require us to go with 12 pitchers now,'' MacPhail said. "I had been leaning toward 13. You’re not going to be able to be strong everywhere. Where we are now, you really have to pick and choose your area. But if I had the opportunity to get a 24-year-old bona fide shortstop that can play defense, it was really something I can’t pass up. You can look for us to start with 12. As the season progresses, you don’t know what twists and turns are going to take place. But we clearly are going to start with 12 pitchers and 13 position players as a consequence of this trade."

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:40 PM | | Comments (34)
Categories: Just baseball


Nice move. At least this way you're getting something for Penn instead of hoping he clears waivers.

As for Hayden, best wishes! A class guy who will hopefully catch a break somewhere else.

Another highly touted arm out of the Oriole system traded for next to nothing.I think Andy has gotten one very good player in Adam Jones,a decent player in Luke Scott,and the jury is out on everybody else.I think the last 2 trades were ridiculous,and don't expect thing to be better in 2010 or 2011.Let's see how many of the big arms pan out.We were loaded with a ton of arms that were supposed to be here this year and ready.Penn,Olsen,Loewen.They misused Penn like so many others before him.Let's face it,the Orioles track record in developing pitchers they have drafted is abysmal.Let's hope it doesn't continue,but I'm not holding my breath.

Pete or anyone for that matter,

In hindsight, given the current pitching scenario, in your opinion did we cut ties with Daniel Cabrera a little too soon?

We all agree he never seemed to harness that "potential" but he did make the call every 5 days and pitch nearly 200 innings. I look at our 3-5 starters now and think he would be no worse than any of them and , in fact, a better option than Eaton or Hendrickson.

Good trade for all involved.

One thing I liked about Hayden Penn was how honest he came across in his interviews. People in his position could make excuses but he never did. When he pitched poorly he manned up and told it like it was. I know Florida has been after him for a while. I also know we could have had a nice return for him a few years ago. Pete who exactly were they rumoring to bring back? Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett or something like that? Either way it's good for him to get that change of scenery. Good luck Hayden.

So I guess this means Penn will go on to have a successful career in the NL. That seems to be what happens to Oriole castoffs.

At the least we got a serviceable player in return.

I wonder if the FO has 2nd thoughts about letting Cabrera go.

"We know Cesar, like any shortstop, is going to need a couple of days off"

In any city other than Baltimore, that might be true...

Why do we keep trading pitchers? We need every pitcher we can get!

It seems like many fans here don't like the trade. Here's my take on the negative contribution of a bad or developing pitcher (with all due respect to Penn).

If a developing pitcher were to get a spot in our rotation that means we need to slot him in for, anywhere from 50-200 IP this season. If he gets anything 150+ IP then that's a net gain. If he's not able to reach 100 IP for any reason, the bullpen makes up the difference. Let's assume the worst and the developing pitcher is ineffective. That means he goes about 10 "bad starts" ("Bad start" being equal to less than 5 IP), or, about 3 months worth. During that span the bullpen would be asked to make up a 30-60 IP. Keep in mind an average season for a reliever is 60-80 innings spread through 6 months.

So, by taking on a developing pitcher in the rotation, what we are really saying is that we need to have 1-2 SPs in reserve at AAA ready if he struggles. We would also need 1-2 extra RPs to prevent overuse of the rest of the bullpen. Unfortunately assuming Guthrie and Uehara do well, we're still in the red with the mix of other options.

In a way I think this move is to do with preventing injuries to arms we already know can be effective (e.g. Sherrill, Jim Johnson, Sarfate, Albers, Ray, etc..). Last year's rash of September injuries was not a coincidence. We should start acknowledging that.

Chris Gomez is a victim of ageism. (MacPhail: "I had the opportunity to get a 24-year-old bona fide shortstop...")

Too bad he can't sue.

Not find of this trade. Penn might perform just fine in the bullpen. I'd rather keep him there than Baez.

Oh well. It's a done deal. After his spring couldn't expect to get much ,and AM didn't.

Good move. At least we got a warm body.

I will miss Gomez. I thought he was a good guy.

I agree, better to trade him rather than lose him thru waivers. And MacPhail looks like he got a useful player,
Pete, a couple of questions, if I may....
When a team loses a player thru waivers, does it get any compensation?
And do you think the trials and tribulations of the once great pitching prospect Penn will affect how the O's manage their current crop of can't misses?

Pete - The O's had Bynum, Castro, Cintron, Fahey, Hernandez, and Torres as SS's last year. So now we trade Penn for a SS who seems weaker than all of these names. MacPhail says it's hard to "pass up on a 24-year old bona-fide SS". Wasn't that Hernandez? Andy could have kept him (or Fahey), made the same statement, and traded Penn for something else. Hindsight's 20-20 but really, what did we get here...?

Pete's reply: Something for nothing. They were going to lose Penn anyway and they get a good glove guy for late-inning situations for nothing.

I think they should have just given him a shot in the majors either bullpen or starting rotation. Give him 30-40 days and see what he does. Guthrie looks awful right now and they are letting him start. I don't despise the trade, but I feel the o's have a lot invested in him and go rid of him quickly. They should of let him go a month or so and see what happens. They let Liz struggle almost all year last year...might as well let Penn have a shot...

Who vetoed the trade of Daniel Cabrera and Hayden Penn for A.J. Burnette and Mike Lowell previously?

Pete's reply: I think it was Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, and it was the previous administration.

Frankly, who cares about the Penn-Andino deal. The fans I talk to want to know why Pie is being foisted and forced on us. We'd like to hear the team address that issue, not the inconsequental acquisition of a backup infielder, with all due respect to Mr. Andino. We want to know why Pie and not others.

Great trade. At least your getting okay for someone not that good. But Penn was a great guy

Gotta love this trade if this kid is as good with the glove as implied. Andy seems bound and determined that if nothing else we're not going to suffer with poor D at short.

I guess if you're probably going to lose Penn to waivers you need to get someone, but...I checked Andino's stats and he has LOTS of errors and strikes out quite a bit despite a decent batting average.

glad they got something as opposed to trying to have him clear waivers. Though, I cant see Penn being any worse than who ever becomes our #5 starter. Why not give him a chance then move from there?

You can always add a 13th pitcher later in the season if you need it. What does it say about your pitching staff if you need 13 pitchers in April? Also you can't go to 14, so you wouldn't be able to add another arm later in the season.

The trade itself was a good one because of the circumstances surrounding Penn (no options). The problem I have is that they're giving a roster spot to a very light hitting player. With the pitching that we have, every player must be able to hit hard and often. Pie , Itzuris, Andino, etc ain't going to keep this team in games. Get Lou M, Moore and Turner back up here till they stop hitting, then go with the other guys.

As a former teammate of Dino (nickname prefered by Andino) and Marlins fan the O's are getting the real deal as far as fielding is concerned. This kid has above average range, arm and glove, but his hitting needs work. Maybe once he gets out of Hanley's shadow he will start producing at the plate.

everybody complains about something, we needed a backup shortstop and we got one for a player who probably would not pass through waivers. As for those complaining about the crop of pitchers that should be here now-whole different adm. that handled that one. Give Pie a chance before we start downing him- if the fans dissect his every move he will never be successful. GO O's

Put the blame on whoever you'd like, but things just haven't worked out for all of these pitching prospects.
I think McPhail is doing a good job, because we were once the envy of the American League ( along with KC ) for having a great farm system.
This is of utmost importance. The farm systems are being replenished and you have to look at some of the deals that have been made.
Markakis, Roberts, Adam Jones .....they are here for a while now. Great nucleus. Let's see what Pie and Freel and some of the other youngsters have to offer.
If they can get the pitching staff, to give them decent innings and not tax the bullpen? I'd expect a significant improvement. The Offense is good enough to win games.
We play in the toughest Division in Baseball.
Let's get respected first of all.... and then things can change.

Andino is a great pickup for Penn, IMHO. I think Penn still has potential, but I don't think he fits in the grand scheme of the O's rebuild. He had a half-dozen guys just like him nipping at his heels, without the history of injuries and poor results.

I know next to nothing about Robert Andino, but Penn wasn't going to make the team and most likely wouldn't have made it through waivers, so I see zero downside in this trade.

The huge positive of this trade is that Dave will have options because a 3 man bench in this day and age, is crazy. Freel is more of the 4th OFer type with Ty being able to play 1B, 3B and DH, so you have to have a guy that can back up B Rob and Cesar.

penn trade = good move
andy mcpahil = better gm than us
monday = another long year?

matt wieters took batting practice today....there were no survivors

penn trade = good move
andy mcpahil = better gm than us
monday = another long year?

matt wieters took batting practice today....there were no survivors

Now we just need to get rid of Adam Eaton. He is horrible? Bot We are going to stink again. 100 loses!! Lets go RAVENS!!

"What does it say about your pitching staff if you need 13 pitchers in April?"

I think if you need 13 pitchers in April it says they must have "Baltimore" across their chests.

This "staff" is an embarassment.

This trade was ALL about perception not reality! They were giving up on Penn so we pick up another out of options guy to give the appearance we got something of value! Lou Montanez came up as a SS, why not try him there? I recall Melvin Mora played CF and SS for the Mets! This isn't rocket science, you need someone to fill the gap on a 100 loss team, why not keep someone who can hit their weight!

Pete's reply: Stop with the Lou Montanez at SS talk. We've asked Lou Montanez and even he says he didn't belong there. Keith, for some reason we can't agree on anything today.

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Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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