The Orioles have announced that Steve Trachsel cleared the waiver wire and has been traded to the Chicago Cubs. Trachsel, 36, went 6-8 with a 4.48 ERA for the Orioles in 2007. He was a late a signing, having agreed to terms one day before pitchers and catchers reported to camp. The Cubs will pay the remainder of Trachsel's $3.1 million salary this season, as well as picking up his $4.75 million club option in 2008.
In return for Trachsel, the Orioles have received 23 year old Scott Moore and 28 year old Rocky Cherry. Moore was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 8th round of the 2002 amateur draft. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2005 and was selected to the Futures Game that season. Moore ranked 7th on InsideTheIvy.com's list of the Top 50 Prospects in the Chicago Cub's organization this past off-season. Rocky Cherry, on the other hand, was originally drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2002 amateur draft. He went 2-0 with 7 saves and a 4.59 ERA in the minors this season and made 12 appearances in the major leagues, going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Moore is the centerpiece of this deal, ranking as the 13th best 3B prospect in the minors in Scout.com's most recent Top 300 Prospect rankings. In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast league, Moore has posted a .264/.370/.527 batting line with 19 home runs in 311 at bats. A shortstop as an amateur, Moore also received some playing time at second base and left field in last year's Arizona Fall League and is a plus defender at the hot corner. Although he projects as a solid every day major league third baseman, he was deemed expendable after the Cubs locked up Aramis Ramirez long-term. With Melvin Mora in clear decline and struggling defensively, Moore could get a shot at a job as soon as Opening Day 2008.
Although 28 years old, Rocky Cherry projects as a useful major league pitcher. After successful Tommy John surgery, he returned in 2006 throwing consistently in the mid-90's. Like most young hurlers, he was used primarily as a starter in the lower levels of the minors. However, he was shifted exclusively to the bullpen in the past two seasons. Despite an ugly 4.86 ERA in the PCL this season, Cherry has consistently put up impressive K:BB ratios, striking out 9.6 batters per 9 innings this year. A big right-hander out of Texas, Cherry should get a clean shot at a major league job in 2008.
Michael hollman is the Senior Writer for InsideTheWarehouse.com and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com