Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jim Johnson, 2013 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini Black #166

Just like that, the Baltimore bullpen is 50 saves and $10-11 million lighter. Jim Johnson, erstwhile closer and one of the senior Orioles (drafted in 2001, O's debut in 2006), has been traded to the Athletics for second baseman Jemile Weeks and the ever-cryptic Player to Be Named Later. You never like to see an established star leave, but it is encouraging to see the Birds sell a guy when his salary starts outstripping his value. There are better ways to spend money than on a "proven closer", since plenty of previously-anonymous pitchers have proven capable of racking up saves when given the chance. I'll never forget Dirty Jim's contributions to the suddenly-competitive Orioles of 2012, even if his hiccups in 2013 put a couple dings in the team's postseason hopes. He was also a valuable setup man from 2008 onward, and I'll root for him in Oakland as long as he's not facing our guys.

As for Weeks, he's not head and shoulders above the other candidates in the O's second base soup despite his lineage (younger brother of the Brewers' Rickie Weeks) and his pedigree as the twelfth overall pick in the 2008 draft. But he's got a penchant for walking, a rare commodity in Birdland, and he's two years removed from a rookie batting line of .303/.340/.421. It's worth a shot. Incidentally, I was in attendance for Jemile's big league debut on June 7, 2011. Now I'd like to see the Birds spend the money they've saved on a big-ticket player elsewhere. Something tells me that Santa Claus might be the best bet on that one.

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