It's finally official: The Orioles have traded Erik Bedard to the Mariners.
The current over-under for Orioles wins for the 2008 season is now being set at 65. I'm taking the under.
BUT! For the first time in 10 years, it seems as though the Orioles have a direction, and this trade couldn't have worked out better.
Bedard was the 3rd best player who was available at any point this off-season (behind only ARod and Johan Santana). So naturally you'd expect the Orioles to get quite a good haul in return for such a wonderful player. But then you remember that the Orioles can't do anything right. But wouldn't you know it, the Orioles actually did well here. It's like going to a Paul Walker film and actually being entertained.
The Orioles gave away Bedard to the Mariners for outfielder Adam Jones, right handers Chris Tillman and Kameron Mickolio, and lefties George Sherrill and Tony Butler. Now from the Mariners perspective this is a good, but not great trade. Obviously, acquiring a player of Bedard's caliber is positive. He combines with Felix Hernandez at the top of the Mariners' rotation to form one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in baseball. Perhaps even more importantly, it now allows the Mariners to slide Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, and Jarrod Washburn (who they are all over-paying) back in the rotation. But they possibly overpaid (which is nothing new for the Mariners...as they are overpaying every member of their team save for Ichiro, Hernandez, JJ Putz, and the great Yuniesky Betancourt). This is especially true if Bedard leaves when his contract is up (a real possibility as any team would pay handsomely for his services).
On the Orioles side, this is a fantastic haul. The centerpiece of the deal is uber-prospect: centerfielder Adam Jones, who almost immediately becomes the Orioles' everyday centerfielder, and is the first long-term option the Birds have had at the 8 position since the wondrous Brady Anderson. Jones is a legitimate 5-tool prospect who combines with Nick Markakis and Luke Scott to give the Orioles a half-way acceptable outfield (though Scott is more of a 4th outfielder...but seeing as how the Orioles have been playing rotating 5th outfielders and quadruple-A players the last couple years, they could do worse). The other major prospect is Tillman, a 19-year old (turning 20 in April) pitcher with a plus fastball and a power curve that projects very well. At 6'5", he has a lot of frame to grow in to and therefore could develop more power. The other three pitchers all project as decent to great bullpen options and given the Orioles horrendous bullpen history, this can only be positive.