Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chris Ray, 2009 Topps Gold #542


This photo of Chris Ray makes it look as if he's turning his back on us, preparing to make his exit. That's only appropriate, since he is now a Texas Ranger. Today, the Orioles made their first significant move of the offseason by trading Ray for veteran starting pitcher Kevin Millwood and $3 million (to defray the costs of his $12 million salary).

I wasn't crazy about Millwood when I first heard that the O's wanted him, but I've talked myself into him pretty quickly. The price was right: as good as Ray once was, relief pitchers are pretty replaceable - particularly ones with a Tommy John surgery and a 7.27 ERA in 2009. $9 million is still pretty steep, but the O's payroll is pretty low otherwise. Besides, the Orioles always need pitching. Even with their parcel of talented young pitchers, they're not completely stocked. A guy who makes 30 starts every year like clockwork is a valuable commodity, and by all accounts he's a model citizen who is willing and able to talk pitching with his less experienced teammates. By recent O's standards, a 4.02 career ERA is like a Cy Young Award. And even though his ERA has been high for most of his time inLink Texas, Baltimore's ballpark is actually less hitter-friendly. I don't think he's a panacea, but he'll be a solid addition to the team.

Oh, and he's not Adam Eaton.

Anyway, so long Chris Ray. I wish you nothing but good luck and good health, even if you imploded any time you came within sniffing distance of pinstripes. Welcome to Charm City, Kevin Millwood. Even if you might only be here for a year or less, I hope I have ample reason to root for you. It's nice to have a Kevin on the team again.

7 comments:

FreeTheBirds said...

I'm happy with this trade, I would have thought the Orioles would have had to give up more than just Ray (who I'd already written off anyway). I don't think Ray will ever get it back, although taking off that Oriole jersey seems to have a rejuvinating effect on players. I'm happy they don't have to sacrafice any of the young arms like Britton, Patton, etc.

I'd also love to see Bedard back, I always liked him - injuries notwithstanding.

Kevin said...

FTB - There's still a chance Bedard could be here. There's no urgency for him to be ready to start the season now that we have Millwood + Guthrie + Bergesen, Tillman, Matusz.

Brian said...

I can now enjoy mother's day.

Commish said...

When do Series tickets go on sale?

Jim from Downingtown said...

A bit off-topic, but still the Orioles:

Does anyone know what's become of HandyAndy's Vintage Orioles Card Project blog?

Commish said...

Jim:

I was wondering the same thing and was about to email Kevin about that. Andy's blog has been gone since the first of the week at least. I sent him an email and got nothing. He'd been updating daily (or more) so it seems strange.

Kevin said...

Bob - Hope springs eternal.

Jim - No idea what's up with Andy. Hope everything is okay.