The Orioles made a very puzzling move late tonight. While they were getting pummeled by the Texas Rangers 8-2, Dan Duquette was shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, trading OF Hyun-soo Kim to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jeremy Hellickson.
First and foremost, I’m happy for Kim, as I’m sure most O’s fans are. While I love Buck Showalter, his usage (or lack thereof) of Kim over the last 1.5 years was always a sore spot. Kim proved that he could hit at the MLB level when given the chance, he provided something this lineup sorely needed in a solid OBP guy, and he was genuinely likeable.
So is Ubaldo Jimenez, right? Sure, but Kim was also productive. I hope he grabs a starting spot in Philadelphia, plays well, and earns himself a lucrative free agent deal with a team that will appreciate him.
As for Hellickson…why? He’s 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 20 starts, his FIP is an awful 5.50 in the pathetic NL East, and he’s a free agent after the season. So he’s a rental, showing that Duquette is once again doing his half-assed “buying” thing of acquiring a pitcher that’s no better than what the O’s already have.
AA pitcher Garrett Cleavinger was also included in the deal. He’s not much of a prospect at this point, having put up a 6.27 ERA in Bowie so far this year. Baltimore Sports and Life ranked him as the #16 O’s prospect just the other day.
Oh, and that’s not all. Because this is the Orioles, they also had to take the opportunity to give away some more of those damned international bonus slots.
That’s right – Roch Kubatko reports that international signing bonus slotS (plural!) are also going to Philadelphia. This is the third time this month the O’s have parted ways with international slot money. So, it’s not like they were gonna use it anyway?
There are still two days until the non-waiver trade deadline. Duquette has some time to save face here, which he could do, in the minds of many O’s fans, by acquiring some prospects for Brad Brach and/or Zach Britton.
This deal though? It hardly moves the needle, and smacks of a team desperate to do SOMETHING, anything. Not a great look.
Be free, Mr. Kim. All the best, from your friends in Birdland.