The Sun is reporting that an Orioles –Tampa trade of Nolan Reimold for SS Jason Bartlett is heating up.
I like Nolan personally. He's always seems to have a smile on his face and despite a miserable year last year on and off the field, he's always available to talk. I also think there is some upside to his bat and I honestly wouldn't mind seeing what he could do again if his personal issues are behind him.
Saying all that, I'm surprised that so many people perceive his value to be greater than it is right now.
Reimold is 27-years old and has put up a .778 OPS in 542 PAs in the major leagues. He's coming off a year in which he not only didn't hit in the major leagues, but the minor leagues as well. His off field issues caused him to have to leave his minor league team in mid-season and then refuse a winter ball season. The Orioles thought so much of him in September that Showalter gave him only 35 plate appearances in which he put up a .535 OPS.
When I talked to him in late September, he told me the only thing Showalter ever said to him was "hello." No one ever talked about his role or that he should try playing first base or anything.
To me, this tells me he's not a Showalter guy for whatever reason. Maybe he could become one if given a chance, but it was pretty apparent last September that his future with the Orioles was cloudy at best.
Add in the fact that he’s a poor defensive outfielder who suited more to play DH, and you have a guy whose value is not that high.
Although I would certainly prefer Hardy to Bartlett, Bartlett is certainly an upgrade to Itzuris at SS and he's certainly a solid defensive SS who's coming off a career worse offensive performance that was still head and shoulders above Itzuris. Bartlett had a career .327 BABIP coming into last season and was a bit unlucky at .299 last year.
In season's in which he's been given 500+ Pa, Bartlett has put up 3.1, 5.0, and a 1.5 WAR last season (his career worse when given that many PA). Itzuris was a -0.4 last season and a 0.8 WAR the year before.
Sorry, but I'm going against the grain and saying this is a good trade for the Orioles. We upgrade our offense a bit and keep a solid defensive SS in Bartlett. Maybe Reimold needs a change of scenery as well. this looks like a win-win to me.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.