Rays take Bradford

O's save $4.5 million

Moving On

August 08, 2008|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun reporter

The Orioles took another small step in club president Andy MacPhail's long-term rebuilding program yesterday, allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to claim right-handed reliever Chad Bradford off waivers in exchange for a player to be named.

Bradford, one of the most dependable relievers in the Orioles' bullpen, goes to the first-place team in the American League East. The Orioles save $4.5 million in payroll - the remainder of the three-year, $10.5 million deal Bradford signed before the 2007 season to become part of an expensive bullpen renovation.

"Chad did a terrific job for us," MacPhail said. "It's no surprise he was attractive to a team that's in first place. We just felt going forward it would give us an opportunity for some others in our organization who have some upside to get a look over the rest of '08 and '09. I think we have that guy [a right-handed setup reliever] in our system, and I'm going to need to fill some other needs, so I can use the dough."

In 47 games this year, Bradford was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA. He was one of the major pieces of a 2008 bullpen revival that allowed the Orioles to exceed expectations in the first half of the season and establish themselves as one of the top comeback teams in the AL.

Clearly, the move wasn't about Bradford's performance. It was about roster flexibility and getting on with the club's budding youth movement.

The Orioles will bring up a pitcher from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Bradford before tonight's opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards.

Whoever that is, he probably won't be here long. Dennis Sarfate is set to start Sunday, but it appears he will be moved back into the bullpen to keep rookie Chris Waters on schedule after his stellar eight-inning debut Tuesday. Presumably, the Orioles will bring up a reliever today, then recall Hayden Penn after Sunday's game to fill a hole in the starting rotation for the four-game series that starts Monday in Cleveland.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

For Peter's take on the deal, go to baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on most Saturdays and Sundays.

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