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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Rangers - Acquired Riley
Texas Rangers - Acquired P Matt Riley from the Baltimore Orioles for OF Ramon Nivar
Here we have the ever-popular swap of disappointing prospects, neither of whom will do any better for their new teams than in their old uniforms.
I would hope that the Orioles are dumping Riley primarily because his stuff is mostly gone and his command is non-existent. Even when Riley held the other team scoreless, he seemed to have no idea where the ball was going (the September 25 game against the Tigers featured some of the ugliest shutout pitching I’ve seen since Jeff Ballard). The Orioles are probably trading Riley as much for his off-field problems; he’s generally been insubordinate and has a reputation for being a partier.
I’m taking that all with a grain of salt, however; the O’s have a history of leaking bad things about people that they want to get rid of - Roberto Alomar, Davey Johnson, Cal Pickering, Rocky Coppinger, David Wells, Kevin Brown being the obvious examples. Hell, this is a team that actually felt the need to explain what a bad man Aaron Ledesma was after they exposed him to the expansion draft.
Will Riley do better in Texas? I doubt it. The Rangers have a terrible track record with pitchers of every stripe, let alone a pitcher that needs a lot of fixing. Mazzone or Gullett might not be enough to help Riley turn his career around.
Now, what do they Orioles get/Rangers lose? Ramon Nivar, a former prospect who has been passed by practically everyone in the Ranger organization. They still played Nivar at 2nd frequently (he should have a FR rating in that DMB disk, but after not including it last year, I forgot to change that this year), but nobody believes that he’ll be anything but an outfielder at the major league level. Nivar’s unlikely to be a plus for the Orioles at any point, but it’s not like he’s blocking anybody; we’ll find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq long before the Orioles’ current braintrust finds a hitting prospect. Rangers won’t miss him.
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