The Dodgers have acquired George Sherrill from the Orioles.
The rebuilding Orioles receive third baseman Josh Bell and right-hander Steve Johnson, both of whom were at Double-A Chattanooga.
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“It’s a great move for us,” Dodgers All-Star closer Jonathan Broxtonsaid. “It gives us an extra arm, and he’s got some innings under his belt. If some nights I need a night off or whatever, he can pick up big innings for us.”
Sherrill set a career high with 31 saves last season, his first with the Orioles. He came to Baltimore from Seattle as part of a five-for-one deal that sent pitcher Erik Bedard to the Mariners.
With the Orioles well on their way to a 12th straight losing season, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail cast an eye toward the future in trading away his closer.
“There does come a time when we have to address our needs down the road, and we think that’s what this trade represents,” MacPhail said. “We will have to endure short-term pain, but we’re pretty sure we’ll get some long-term gain.”
Bell is a highly-touted prospect, but the Dodgers have enough left in their farm system to make a competitive offer to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. It’s not clear, though, if they’re going to be willing to do that.
Bell, 22, could give the Orioles three switch-hitters in their lineup once he joins catcher Matt Wieters and second baseman Brian Roberts in the majors.
The Orioles believe that Bell, acquired Thursday from the Dodgers along with right-hander Steve Johnson, will evolve into at least a No. 5 or No. 6 hitter.
They also believe he will remain at third base, even though Bell’s profile in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook says “his lack of speed and range may force a move” to first or an outfield corner.
A rival GM who recently saw Bell at Class AA said, “He’s got physical skills and talent, but he plays very lethargic. He’s not a high-energy guy at all. He’s very nonchalant in how he plays.
The profile says that Bell earned the nickname “Baby Kemp” for his resemblance to the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp.
Johnson, meanwhile, is the son of Dave Johnson, a former pitcher for the Orioles who is now one of the team’s broadcasters.