Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Orioles Acquire Taylor Teagarden

In what feels like about the twentieth Orioles-Rangers trade in the past year, multiple news sources are reporting that the Orioles acquired catcher Taylor Teagarden from the Rangers today in return for minor league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later, which many times means that money will change hands at some point down the road.

Teagarden was the Rangers' 3rd round pick in the 2005 draft and has represented the United States in the 2004 & '08 Olympics. He has played sparingly for the Rangers over the past four seasons, totaling 118 games, and has a .220 average with a .703 OPS to date. He hit a home run in his first MLB at-bat in 2008; even better, it was in the sixth inning and broke up a no-hitter by the Twins' Scott Baker in a game the Rangers went on to win 1-0. That's a pretty awesome way to debut, but unfortunately Taylor hasn't been able to live up to the high expectations that surrounded him early in his career.

I'm still pretty excited about the trade, because Teagarden represents an upgrade to me over the Craig Tatums and Chad Moellers that have filled the O's backup catcher role over the past few seasons. He's still relatively young and I feel like there is some unexplored offensive potential to boot. Matt Wieters, coming off his Gold Glove winning 2011 season, is beyond the point of needing a tutor, and I think it's worth a roll of the dice to see what Taylor can do. I still expect the Orioles to sign another catcher, possibly a minor league free agent, to compete with him, but as of today, I'm a fan of the trade.

Since I don't have an autograph of Teagarden (yet) here is my autograph of Randy Henry, who the O's had to give up to swing the trade.

Randy was the O's 4th round pick in the 2009 draft and has spent the past two seasons with the O's three class A level teams, the short season Aberdeen Ironbirds, lo-A Delmarva Shorebirds, and hi-A Frederick Keys. My first meeting with Henry came during Spring Training this past year at the O's minor league complex in Sarasota. At the time, I wrote:

"Randy Henry was probably the nicest player I've ever come across during my 'graphing exploits. He was talkative and personable and spoke with me like I was his friend, not just some random person getting autographs. He told me how his Spring Training was going and that he had only pitched one inning to that point, but was happy with how it went. I think I have a new favorite O's Minor Leaguer. Good luck this year Randy!"

Thanks to Randy for that memory, and good luck in the Rangers' organization!

To make room on the 40 man roster for Teagarden, the O's designated Pedro Viola for assignment. I can't say that I'm too surprised, as I considered Pedro to be about the 39th/40th player on the 40 man. He pitched very sparingly with the O's over the past two seasons and the results weren't pretty; he had a 10.80 ERA over six games pitched.

Pedro spent most of the past two seasons with the AA Bowie Baysox and he was nice enough to sign a number of autographs for me over his time in Bowie, including my favorite autograph of the 2011 season. I gave him a small stack of these Orioles cards in return and he really seemed to enjoy them. Good luck with your future Pedro.


Play at the Plate said...

Good luck to Teagarden...I don't know much about Henry, but I hope he works out for us.

Orioles Magic said...

Henry is a decent prospect who seems to project to be a bullpen guy. At least I can say he seems like a nice guy.