Orioles parlay infield depth into outfield insurance


As one of Robert Andino‘s most consistent critics (see my previous blog entry), I naturally see the reasoning and the logic behind his trade to Seattle for Trayvon Robinson. I like the trade, in fact expected it. The only thing I think is odd is the explanation. Dan Duquette says there is now a surplus of second baseman. Well, he knew he was acquiring surplus by signing Alexi Casilla.

Even though I like the trade, it seems like he was just avoiding saying he picked up Casilla in order to trade Andino. If you’re making the trade only because you now have surplus, why would you have acquired the surplus? Of course the other part of the reason is to parlay the new found infield depth into outfield insurance, safeguarding against Nate McLouth leaving. But again, why didn’t Duquette simply trade Casilla rather than Andino? Easy. Because Casilla, even though he’s almost the same player as Andino, brings more speed, being 21 for 22 on steal attempts last season, and a slightly higher average.

He also makes $1.31 million, slightly cheaper than what Andino might have awarded in potential arbitration.

Additionally, four second baseman are not needed with the healthy return of Brian Roberts being closer to reality now than it has been in a long time, according to Roch Kubatko’s recent report.

Robinson is three years younger than Andino and will compete for a spot in left field even if McLouth stays. Nolan Reimold will also be in the mix, and let’s remember how effective he was in the leadoff hole before his annual injury (or what seems like it) took hold last April. Time will also tell if Robinson is an upgrade over Endy Chavez as a fourth outfielder.

Here’s hoping the Orioles retain third base coach DeMarlo Hale. And Happy Thanksgiving to all Baltimore Orioles fans.