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Yankees/Baltimore Swap

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Jaret Wright and cash were shipped to Baltimore in a weekend trade in exchange for 23-year old Chris Britton. There really isn't much to say about this deal, outside of a pat on the back to the Yankees for getting anything of substance for Wright . The part that causes me to scratch my head is this nugget of information:

New York had until Sunday to opt out of Wright's contract, a move that also would have cost the Yankees a $4 million buyout.

Now, I may be a tad pessimistic, but what do you suppose the market was going to do when Jaret Wright dropped in its lap? I have a feeling he was not going to be one of the first free agents snatched up, considering his recent performances, and chances are good that the Orioles would have been able to sign him for roughly the same price -- maybe another million or two more per year, depending on interest from other clubs -- without giving up a useful reliever with high strikeout totals. The Orioles need all the relief help they can get, as evidenced by the WXRL totals from 2006.

If it wasn't Mazzone in charge of the pitching in Baltimore, I'd criticize the acquisition of Wright. As bad as he's been, he's not Russ Ortiz bad, and his one quality season in the recent past came under Mazzone in Atlanta -- the season that earned him his ridiculous contract with New York in the first place. Given the low cost, it's a move worth making for Baltimore, although if Wright does well he may just take off for more lucrative waters yet again in 2008.

Britton sounds exactly like someone the Yanks bullpen needs if they want to avoid running Proctor and Co. into the ground (again). Via Keith Law:

Britton is a bad-body guy with plus control of a solid-average 90-93 mph fastball, with a fringe-average breaking ball. He's strictly a reliever, and he needs a better second weapon, but anyone with his control and huge strikeout rates is a valuable asset, especially while he's still making a near-minimum salary.

On another note, my apologies for my lack of posting around here lately. I contributed to John Burnson's Graphical Player, a visual representation of player trends and stats with commentary, during most of October. This is the first year with hitters (this was formerly The Graphical Pitcher) so Craig Brown, Jeff Sackmann and myself wrote up the hitter section. Along with that, I was given a chapter in Baseball Prospectus 2007 that has been keeping me busy as of late. I don't want to reveal which chapter I'm writing, because it's more fun to make you all guess when it's released in the spring, but those two things -- along with classes and work -- have pretty much taken away from my time here at BTB until it's all completed. I hope you enjoy the two new writers we've added here; I've been enjoying John and Ryan's work thus far, so make sure you give them a look if you missed their previous entries.