The MLB off season is often a time where writers such as myself struggle to find postworthy content. As I’m new to Birds Watcher, this was one of my big fears. Luckily for me, Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette’s bailed me out by making his first move with regard to on-field personnel. Translated, he made a trade. The Birds have been looking for a viable back-up catcher for Matt Wieters since the end of the 2011 season. They found him yesterday in Taylor Teagarden. Right off the bat, I think we’re learning a bit about Dan Duquette with this move. Previously the O’s have tried to have a seasoned veteran behind Wieters so as to help Wieters along in his maturation process. However let’s not forget that Wieters won a gold glove this past season. Immediately, Duquette’s seen that the maturation process with Wieters has run it’s course.
Teagarden is 28 years old, and he comes to the O’s from the Texas Rangers. The Birds traded minor league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later to the Rangers in exchange for Teagarden, who is already familiar with several people in the Orioles’ dugout. First off, Teagarden was drafted by Texas in 2005 when none other than Buck Showalter was the skipper. Buck wasn’t there long, however Teagarden told the Baltimore media that he thinks Buck probably remembers him “just a little bit.” Knowing Buck Showalter’s attention to detail, he probably remembers Teagarden a little better than that; in fact I would go so far as to say that in my opinion there’s no coincidence that the Orioles traded for a guy that Showalter had a hand in drafting with Texas.
Here’s the other interesting part of this trade; think back to this past season and the various trades that the Orioles made. It seemed that Texas was a pretty regular trading partner. Pitchers Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop, Zach Phillips, and Darren O’Day are all familiar with Teagarden, as is first baseman Chris Davis. I’m not suggesting that this in itself is a precursor to success. However one has to believe that it can make somewhat of a difference.
Again, this will be the first time in a few years that the O’s will have a relatively young backup catcher. If you’re like me and you attend lots of Sunday games, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of Teagarden. He also came into the organization around the same time that the Rangers started to see an uptick in fortunes. Thus he in effect knows how to win, and has been on good and winning teams. One has to hope and believe that he can bring some of those “Dirty Dancing” moves to Baltimore with him.
The other question at hand is whether or not this is a precursor to what we might see next week when Dan Duquette goes to the MLB winter meetings in Dallas. From everything that Duquette’s said since coming to the franchise, it appears that he’ll try to better the team by way of trades. Needless to say, it should be an interesting week as Mr. Duquette goes to Dallas.
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