A lot of MLB teams are nervous about trading with teams within their division, but perhaps no club has been quite so paranoid as the Orioles under owner Peter Angelos. The last significant deal they made with an AL East team was in 2006, when they traded reliever Chris Britton to the Yankees for Jaret Wright and $4 million of the $7 million left on his contract.
They haven’t really taken a risk in a deal with an AL East rival since 2000, when they sent disappointing first-round pick Jayson Werth to the Blue Jays for reliever John Bale. Of course, Werth went on to become a star, but not until long after Toronto was done with him.
Fortunately, new GM Dan Duquette isn’t such a believer in avoiding deals within his division. He told WEEI’s Alex Speier today that, ‘If it’s good for our team…not as important who we trade with.”
Now he just needs to convince the guy who has the final say. The Orioles aren’t looking to sell at the moment, but they might be this summer, and they’ll be better off if Duquette is able to consider all offers, especially those that might lure some young talent away from the teams he hopes to overtake a couple of years down the road.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.