This morning, the Orioles traded pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies. Guthrie was engaged in arbitration hearings with the club, where he had reportedly submitted a salary number of over $10 million. According to the same report, the O’s submitted a number of 7.25 million; rather than try to bridge the gap, they shipped the veteran right-hander to Colorado.
Guthrie wasn’t an “ace” by any means, but he was easily the most reliable starter on the Baltimore roster. With the collection of unproven young guys and veteran journeymen constantly shuffling through the O’s rotation, Guthrie was a steady presence. He pitched 175 innings or more in each of his five seasons in Charm City, and went over 200 the last three years. Again, he wasn’t going to go out and consistently dominate, but Guthrie was at least a guy that you could run out there every fifth day and know that he would compete for you, and that he would very likely get into at least the sixth or seventh inning (a very rare feat for Baltimore starters these days), giving the bullpen what was always a much-needed rest.
At this point in his career though, “Gutz” costs money, and there is no room for that type of guy on the O’s roster.
So did the Orioles at least get some decent prospects from the Rockies in the deal?
Of course not.
What they got were two pitchers, Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, who are neither particularly young nor particularly talented or successful major leaguers.
Hammel, 29, has a career ERA of 4.99 in 115 career starts over six seasons.
Lindstrom, who turns 32 this week, has been a marginally effective bullpen guy over five seasons in the National League.
However, the O’s get both Hammel and Lindstrom combined for roughly what Guthrie would have cost them. Which, in their eyes, is perfect.
Confused about how the deal makes the team better? Well, have a look at this handy-dandy O’s decision-making flowchart, and that should clear things right up.
Pitchers and catchers report in six days.