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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Reds - Acquired Hernandez
Cincinnati Reds - Acquired C Ramon Hernandez from the Baltimore Orioles for WG Ryan Freel, 2B Justin Turner, and 3B Brandon Waring.
Good trade for the Orioles. The Orioles don’t save that much money but they pick up a couple of prospects that, while not Top Prospect Listworthy, are a good deal better than the usual salary dump throw-in guys.
And at this point, it’s essentially a minor salary dump. Ramon Hernandez is no longer the Hernandez of 2003-2006 and while he’s not a bad player, he’s unlikely to be a huge plus and at his age and skill level, could very easily be the baseball equivalent of GM stock last year. As bad as Paul Bako was, the Reds were only a bit below-average at catcher as a position and Hernandez is a long way from being a guaranteed improvement.
The Orioles gain Ryan Freel, whose main skill is being a white guy. He’s the type of guy Oriole fans would love, at least when the organization actually had a lot of fans. Freel is the least valuable player in the trade.
Justin Turner might be the most valuable player to switch hands in this transaction. Nobody’s going to confuse him with Chase Utley, but he does a lot of things fairly well. He’s got a little power, gets on base, plays decent defense. He should start the season in AAA given that he’s 24. The Orioles shouldn’t be penciling Turner in at 2B in their 2010 depth chart, but he’s worth paying attention to. Brandon Waring appeared on some prospect lists after a huge professional debut (20 HR in 68 games for Billings), but his follow-up performance at Dayton wasn’t anywhere near what you want to see in a 22-year-old prospect. He’s a fai 3B, so his glove isn’t going to push him to the majors if he doesn’t hit more.
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