Salazar Dealt To Padres



O's Pick Up Submarine Reliever Meredith

July 20, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,

Chicago - - The Orioles have cleared their position-player logjam by trading infielder Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for right-handed submarine reliever Cla Meredith.

Meredith, 26, was 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 36 2/3 innings and 35 games for the Padres. He will join the Orioles in New York either Tuesday or Wednesday, said Orioles president Andy MacPhail.

"He gets a lot of ground balls, he will be new to our league and that could be beneficial," MacPhail said. "He'll give us a different look in the bullpen."

A Richmond, Va., native, Meredith was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2004 amateur draft out of Virginia Commonwealth University and traded to the Padres in 2006 as part of a deal for catcher Doug Mirabelli. He is 14-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 236 big-league games over parts of five seasons.

Meredith has one minor-league option remaining, but he will stay with the big-league club once he arrives in New York, MacPhail said.

The Orioles will then have to make another move, which is expected to be the demotion of a reliever, likely rookie Kam Mickolio. Mickolio and Matt Albers have minor-league options remaining.

Salazar, who batted .419 with two homers for the Orioles in 31 at-bats this season, played first, third and designated hitter and excelled as a pinch hitter (9-for-22 in two seasons with the Orioles). But he became the victim of a roster crunch; the club needed to promote David Hernandez to pitch today's game at Yankee Stadium.

Salazar, 31, and fourth outfielder Felix Pie, 24, were the most likely candidates to be moved, but Pie is younger and gives the Orioles insurance at every outfield position. Both were out of options and neither was expected to clear waivers.

"Some other teams had interest in Oscar," MacPhail said. "But San Diego showed the most interest and we were able to secure a major-league relief pitcher."

When asked before Sunday's 10-2 win over the Chicago White Sox about potentially leaving the Orioles, Salazar said: "I really don't want to think about it. I don't know what's going to come tomorrow or the next day. So I just try to concentrate on doing my job."

Sunday is a new day

The Orioles may be shedding their inability to win on Sundays.

Their 10-2 victory against the White Sox was their fourth Sunday win in their past six tries, improving their Sunday record this season to 5-10. It was just their second win in eight road attempts, so there is still room for improvement.

But with five Sunday wins they have already topped their output from 2009, when they were 4-21 on Sundays.

Sarfate's rehab slowed

Reliever Dennis Sarfate (circulatory condition) felt some shoulder tightness after his two-inning outing on July 14 with Single-A Frederick and has been examined by team doctor John Wilckens, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

"I think it was muscle soreness up in the shoulder area," Trembley said. "I think he was told not to throw a couple days, and he has [since] resumed his throwing program in his rehab."

Trembley said Sarfate "will be fine" and will continue with his rehab assignment.

Around the horn

Pie recorded a rap song at a friend's studio in Baltimore during the all-star break. He played the song, with the lyrics in Spanish, for some teammates on Sunday morning. ... Reliever Chris Ray (biceps tendinitis) is expected to throw from a mound this week in Sarasota, Fla., before going on a rehab assignment. ... 2009 first-round pick Matt Hobgood made his pro debut for rookie-level Bluefield on Saturday, throwing one inning while allowing two hits and a run. He also had a wild pitch and an error. ... Chicago right-hander Jose Contreras halted the Orioles' streak of facing nine consecutive left-handed starters, tying a club and major-league record. They hadn't faced a right-handed starter since the Los Angeles Angels' Sean O'Sullivan on July 4.

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