Friday, May 8, 2009

Joey Gathright

Apparently the Orioles have decided that Ryan Freel's complaining about being the utililty player he agreed to be got old, and they have shipped him to (where else?) the Chicago Cubs for Joey Gathright; Gathright will be sent to Norfolk. Gathright is no great shakes (he has a career OPS of 68 over 6 seasons and 1300 plate appearances), so I can only assume the deal comes with some cost savings for the Orioles. I suppose he'll provide a bit of Adam Jones injury insurance, but, barring that ruinous circumstance, I don't see why he'd ever don a Baltimore uniform.

Freel ends his Orioles career after just 9 games and 20 at-bats. After suffering his unfortunate injury, the club just couldn't find roster space for him. Robert Andino and Ty Wiggington fill the back-up infield roles, and Lou Montanez and Luke Scott do likewise in the outfield. With Nolan Reimold making it tough to ignore him in Norfolk, Freel was the odd man out. Hopefully, he'll be happier with a contending club; the Cubs do figure to be able to offer a bit more regular playing time behind Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukodome and Reed Johnson. Depending on the level of seriousness regarding Derrek Lee's neck spasms, I would not be surprised to see the Cubs give Bradley a shot at first base (in a bid to keep him healthier) and Freel get more time in the outfield.

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