Baltimore Orioles Trade Ryan Webb to Los Angeles Dodgers


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After starting the season with a surplus of relief pitchers, the Baltimore Orioles have unloaded Ryan Webb, sending him and minor league catcher Brian Ward to the Dodgers, via MASN’s Roch Kubatko. Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun added that the Orioles were also sending their competitive balance draft pick to LA.

There were reports that the Orioles would be receiving two minor leaguers in the deal, then Brett Hollander of WBAL Radio revealed their identities to be relief pitcher Ben Rowen and catcher Chris O’Brien.

Rowen is a side-arming right-hander, who pitched in his only eight major league games last year for the Texas Rangers, posting a 4.15 ERA. O’Brien is a 25-year-old switch-hitting catcher, who has never advanced past double-A. O’Brien is the son of Charlie O’Brien, a catcher for eight teams for parts of 15 seasons.

This isn’t a blockbuster trade by any means, but it could end up being a win for both sides.

The Dodgers get Webb, a guy who is ready to join their bullpen, and Ward, who is more capable than O’Brien of stepping in and taking over the catching duties, in case one of their major league catchers goes down with an injury.

As for the Orioles, though they lose a proven major leaguer in Webb, Rowen is a young reliever who has the potential to develop into a strong weapon out of Buck Showalter’s bullpen, even if that time doesn’t come this year. O’Brien is an interesting case, in that the Orioles don’t know what their getting, but he has more upside than Ward did. He could end up being a big factor next year, if Matt Wieters doesn’t stick around.

The Dodgers know what they’re getting in this deal, but Baltimore is taking a real chance. If neither Rowen or O’Brien pans out, then the Orioles just gave up a solid major league reliever for nothing.

What do you think of this deal? Does it help the Orioles in the future, or does it have a negative impact on the Orioles hopes for this year? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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