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Orioles Trade Matusz to Atlanta; Braves Immediately DFA Him

orioles baseball pitcher about to throw pitch
photo: Craig Landefeld
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The Orioles have finally solved their Brian Matusz problem, shipping him and the remainder of his $3.9 million 2016 salary to the Atlanta Braves. In return, the O’s get a couple minor league pitchers, righty Brandon Barker and lefty Trevor Belicek, neither of whom were ranked among the Braves’ Top 30 prospects.

The Orioles also sent the Braves the 76th overall pick in the upcoming draft, so this was yet another situation where Dan Duquette basically sold a draft pick, just like he did with Ryan Webb last year.

As further proof that the Braves really only wanted the draft pick and not Matusz, they immediately sent him (re)packing.

Reactions to the trade among O’s fans has been mixed. While many are glad to see Matusz, who has been awful this year, go, some are also feeling some consternation at Duquette tossing away yet another pick.

Like I said in the above tweet: expecting Duq to suddenly care about draft picks is like still expecting it to go consecutive days without raining in Baltimore – the sooner you make peace with it, the better off you’ll be.

Matusz, the fourth overall pick in 2008, was yet another huge disappointment as far as becoming the “ace” he was drafted to be went, but he did make some key contributions out of the bullpen. He posted ERAs of 3.53, 3.48, and 2.94 out of the ‘pen in 2013-15, respectively, and he probably wasn’t as awful at stranding inherited runners during those years as you’ve led yourself to believe.

Inherited runners stranded:

2013: 32/37

2014: 39/49

2015: 29/46

So yeah, he got progressively worse in that department, but he wasn’t always bad! And of course, he was kryptonite to David Ortiz (4-29, 13 K career), and he gave us this:

All things considered, I have a hard time calling him a “bust.” Would we have liked more from him? Of course. But he contributed to some very good teams, and for that I’m appreciative. Many were hoping he would get non-tendered last offseason (or even the offseason before that), but he never was, and the team found themselves stuck with a $4 million LOOGY who couldn’t get lefties out. As such, we end up here, parting ways with yet another pick.

Happy trails, Brian, wherever you may end up next. Just please don’t become the next Jake Arrieta. Birdland can’t deal with that.

What do you think?

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