The Orioles didn't make a big splash at the winter meetings; in fact they barely made a ripple, but I have to say that the few moves they made does make the team a little better off for the 2012 season.
The O's "big move" was acquiring LHP Dana Eveland from the Dodgers for minor leaguers Jarrett Martin and Tyler Henson.
Eveland has bounced around the Majors over the seven seasons he has spent in the big leagues. He made his MLB debut with the Brewers in 2005 and has since pitched for the Diamondbacks, A's, Blue Jays, Pirates, and Dodgers. At this point in his career, Dana is best known for the 2008-09 seasons he spent in Oakland and 42 of his 100 career appearances were with the A's. In limited September 2011 action with the Dodgers, he pitched well (3-2 record with a 3.03 ERA over five starts) so I hope that he can keep that positive momentum going into 2012.
Martin is a lefty pitcher who went 5-12 with the lo-A Delmarva Shorebirds in 2011 and was drafted by the O's in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. I don't believe I ever saw Martin pitch since he only spent two seasons in the Orioles organization and played for Bluefield and Delmarva, which are the two furthest affiliates from where I live. I don't have any autographs of his so you get a double dose of Henson.
Henson was a 5th round pick in the 2006 draft and spent the entire 2011 season with the AAA Norfolk Tides. He spent part of Spring Training in 2011 with the Orioles but finished the year with a relatively disappointing stat line in his first AAA action. Tyler has played at every level of the Orioles farm system over the past six seasons, and I enjoyed watching him play for the hi-A Frederick Keys and AA Bowie Baysox during the 2009-2010 seasons. He was one of Kalina's favorite minor leaguers, so she might need some time to recover from this trade.
If you are a twitterer, both Martin (@JarretMartin)
and Henson (@hendog4)
have accounts so you can follow them if you are into that kind of thing.
To clear room for Eveland on the 40 man roster, the O's designated reliever Willie Eyre for assignment. Eyre pitched well for the Birds in 2011, (2-2, 3.44 ERA in 19 games) and I thought he did well enough to be brought back for the 2012 season, but what do I know?
In other Orioles news, they announced that infielder Greg Miclat is the player to be named later in the Taylor Teagarden
trade with the Rangers that was announced last week. Greg was the Orioles 5th round pick in the 2008 draft and had been steadily rising through the farm system. He spent the entire 2011 season with the Baysox and was probably the Orioles system's best base-stealer, as he swiped 50 bases in 53 attempts last year alone. Giving up Randy Henry and Miclat seems like a steep price for backup catcher, but again, I'm obviously not the one calling the shots and the team needed someone to fill-in for Wieters.
The Rule 5 draft wrapped up the 2011 Winter Meetings and the Orioles selected three players, one in each round of the draft. In the Major League phase, the team picked Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs, who had spent last year with the AAA Iowa Cubs and will compete for the 3B/utility infielder spot in spring training. In the AAA phase, the O's plucked LHP Andrew Loomis from the Phillies system, and in the AA phase they selected 3B Matt Sweeney from the Rays. Sweeney had been part of the Angels-Rays Scott Kazmir trade a few years back and is from Maryland. The O's were one of only two teams to make a selection in the AA phase and had none of their players selected in any phase of the draft, so take that for whatever it's worth.
I hope that some of you made it all the way down one of my longer posts in recent memory. Can you imagine how much I would have written if the team had signed Pujols?!?