Baltimore Orioles: Notes on the Brian Matusz trade


What should Baltmore Orioles fans make of the Birds trading LHP Brian Matusz away to Atlanta? Furthermore, is there a chance Matusz could return to the O’s?

So first off, what should Baltimore Orioles fans make of the Birds trading LHP Brain Matusz yesterday? Given his inconsistencies both this year and over the years, I suspect that most fans will wish him well, but not be overly upset that he’s gone. However keep in mind that Matusz was a first round draft pick in 2008…

…he came up in 2009 with the hopes that he could be a power southpaw starter for the Orioles. He had some flashes of being able to do just that, however in reality it never materialized. Make no mistake about the fact that there were times Matsuz was effective in the bullpen the past couple of years. However there were probably more times when he wasn’t.

What the Birds lose in Matusz is a good clubhouse and community guy. Most fans probably don’t care too much about that, however for what it’s worth the Orioles do. How you’re represented in the community does matter – especially in a community such as Baltimore. Furthermore whether or not someone’s a good clubhouse guy or not also makes a difference. Again, especially with a team such as the Orioles, where part of their strength is in their clubhouse.

So I suppose the point is that the decision to trade Matusz to Atlanta probably wasn’t as easy or cut and dry as some folks believe it was. However the good news is that the Orioles got good return in two young minor league pitchers – something that they’ve been needing. We’ve heard so much about them needing to re-stock their farm system…this helps.

And for the record, the Orioles all but won this trade before anyone actually stepped on the field in a sense. There are reports that Atlanta is goin to designate Matusz for assignment. If that’s true, odds are he’ll never even appear in a game with his new team. That means that Atlanta traded two minor league pitchers for a competitive balance draft pick and for the responsibility of taking on Matusz’s salary. Interesting to say the least.

If in fact he’s DFA’d, that would mean that he could sign with any other team. Perhaps the Orioles might consider bringing him back? A lot of folks are going to scoff at that, however keep in mind that if that happened it would be a next-to-no-risk move. Atlanta would be paying his salary, and the Orioles could just pick him up and if he didn’t work out at some point (or if they needed a roster spot) they could DFA him. Again, with Atlanta on the hook for his salary, there’s very little risk.

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I don’t see that happening, however. I suspect that Matusz’s time in Baltimore is over. And that’s not totally a knock on Matusz in a sense, because I do believe that the organization is guilty of mismanaging him in the first couple years of his career. He was one of the “cavalry” of young pitchers in the Orioles’ arsenal, however Tillman is the only one that came through as a solid starter.

Nevertheless, you can’t cry over spilled milk. You have to move on at a certain point. And it appears that the O’s are doing just that.

Next: Baltimore Orioles News: Orioles Aquire Franderlyn Romer from Reds

The O’s arrived in Houston on Sunday night, and after an off day yesterday they’ll open up a three-game set tonight. Chris Tillman will get the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Doug Fister. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.