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Rangers to acquire Koji Uehara from Orioles for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter

Jul 30, 2011, 5:33 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Getty Images

UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun now writes that the Orioles will receive Chris Davis and right-hander Tommy Hunter in exchange for Uehara. They’ll also send some cash the Rangers’ way. That’s a pretty good get considering Uehara was of little use on a losing team.

5:20 PM: Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to trading Koji Uehara to the Rangers. And according to his colleague Dan Connolly, the Orioles will receive Chris Davis in return.

Uehara, 36, has thrived as a reliever over the past two seasons, posting a 2.27 ERA and 117/13 K/BB ratio over 91 innings. He has a 1.72 ERA and 0.70 (!) WHIP over 47 innings this season. The Japanese right-hander is making $3 million this season and has a $4 million vesting option that kicks in once he reaches 55 appearances. He has already made 43 appearances this season, so he’s a near-lock to get there if he stays healthy.

Davis has a .248 batting average and 301 strikeouts over 878 major league at-bats, but still possesses some potential as a power bat. The 25-year-old has a 1.006 OPS over 975 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He could very well be a Quad-A bat in the long run, but he has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. Baltimore would seem to be a good place for him to get an extended look against major league pitching, though Davis and Mark Reynolds in the same lineup could make for some easy outs.

Hunter, 25, has pitched exclusively in relief this season after getting a late start due to a groin injury. He was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA over 22 starts and one relief appearance last season, so he offers the Orioles some flexibility.

  1. spudchukar - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    They also get Tommy Hunter. Plus the O’s send them a boatload of cash. Still not bad for the O’s fans.

  2. siouxyaya17 - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Really good deal for the O’s, Chris Davis definitely needs a change of scenery.

  3. banksatdixie - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    I feel like the Rangers are batshit crazy to make this deal.

  4. JBerardi - Jul 30, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Davis isn’t a major league hitter. Forget his line at AAA and take note of his 58/11 K/BB ratio. That dog won’t hunt.

    • banksatdixie - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      Taking that into consideration…’re still giving up an effective, young pitcher for Uehara. A cost controlled commodity for a 36 year old reliever. I understand the Chris Davis portion of the deal, it makes sense for both sides….but Hunter? Jon Daniels got bent the fuck over.

      • JBerardi - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        Hunter is a back end or swingman type. I’d be glad to get him if I was the O’s, but by the same token, I’d probably be willing to part with him if I was the Rangers. He’ll be more valuable than Uehara in the long run, but he’s not going to make or break the organization. Meanwhile, a strong bullpen is essential to making a deep postseason run.

      • spudchukar - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        The O’s also sent 2 Million Dollars along with Uehara. You know those Texans always hurtin’ for a little green.

  5. watermelon1 - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Koji was just about the only remaining reason to watch the Orioles. With this move, they lose probably half of their remaining 100 fans. It’s sick what has happened to this franchise.

    PLEASE, I’m done begging for Peter Angelos to step down. Someone just do us all a favor and kill him?

    • banksatdixie - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

      An owner can step down?

    • JBerardi - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:22 PM

      Buck Showalter!

    • spudchukar - Jul 30, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      When the only redeeming attraction to a team is a set-up reliever, it is time to make major changes, even if that includes Uehara.

      • randomdigits - Jul 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

        True but Koji would be a joy to watch on any team. Some nights he gets beat but he never beats himself, its always strike one, strike two hit it if you can.

  6. APBA Guy - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Texas gets better for this year and the playoffs. The key for them is to stay healthy, and that’s problematic for them.

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