The Orioles have officially traded RHP David Hernandez and RHP Kam Mickolio to the Arizona Diamondback for 3B Mark Reynolds.
Coming into this offseason needing to fill the corner infield spots, this trades boosts the Orioles lineup with a power hitting third baseman with clear potential for the future. While he does struggle with his swing command and has some glove issues, we can only hope that Buck and his staff can work around these problems and turn him into the middle of the lineup bat that we essentially have needed.
A bit more on each player involved:
Mickolio, drafted by the Mariners back in 2006 and traded to the Orioles as part of the Erik Bedard deal, spent most of 2010 in the Orioles farm system. After giving up an earned run in three quick appearances in April for the major league club, Mickolio was sent down to AAA Norfolk to work on his command. Never finding consistent success in the minors, while also battling a few injuries throughout the season, Mickolio never made his way back up to the major league club. Some thought of him as a potential closer of the future after he was successful for two months in Baltimore during the 2009 season.
David Hernandez has long been a project in the making by the Orioles organization. Drafted in the 16th round of the 2005 draft, Hernandez made his way up through the Orioles system as a starting pitcher. Once in the majors, Hernandez had a lot of trouble commanding his pitches in a starting role. With an ERA of 5.31 and K:BB ratio of 30:29 through eight starts, Hernandez was converted to a bullpen role, where he found much more success. Eventually lowering his seasonal ERA to 4.31 through many relief appearances, Hernandez’ fastball not only found better command out of the bullpen, but a velocity boost as well.
Mark Reynolds is a 27 year old third baseman known for his power potential and high strikeout numbers. Batting .198 last season with 32 HR and 85 RBI, Reynolds has consistently struggled with striking out. With 200+ strikeouts in each of the last three seasons (204, 223, 211 respectively), Reynolds is the first ever major leaguer to strike out more than 200 times in a season, let alone three times. Known to be an average defender, Reynolds brings a power bat to the Orioles lineup.
The deal is, as always with trades, pending physicals.
UPDATE: Along with Reynolds, the Orioles will receive a PTBNL or cash considerations.
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Photo courtesy of: Sports of Boston