-P- The Mariners and Orioles have finally completed the Erik Bedard trade. The O's get outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill, and pitching prospects Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, and Kameron Mickolio. Sherrill's little more than a decent reliever, but the other four guys could all be part of the Orioles' future. Jones could quickly become a star, Mickolio's a huge dude who could potentially become a very good reliever, and Tillman and Butler and both very young and full of upside. Tillman's younger and further along - he pitched pretty decently in the crazy offensive environment at Class A+ High Desert last year as a 19 year-old - but Butler may turn out to be more interesting in the end. He already throws in the low 90s, and he's a 6'7" lefty. Guys like that don't grow on trees.
Anyway, great trade for the O's.
-P- Baseball Prospectus likes the Freddy Sanchez signing:
Last year, Sanchez came back from a sprained knee, and struggled that first month while moving from third to second base to boot. Aside from those first few weeks, Sanchez hit pretty much in line with expectations. The shoulder surgery he had this offseason might affect his swing a bit more, so there's some chance of another slow start, something that might be tougher to deal with on a team that was in contention. The Pirates' new leadership understands this, and understands they're in for the long haul as rebuilding projects go, so they agreed to a contract extension with Sanchez despite the issue with his shoulder. Sanchez isn't young, but his batting average and the ability to stick at second for a couple years are for real.
-P- Vlad points out that there's a good new Pirates blog called Hyzdu HQ that no one has really noticed, and he's right (about the "good" part, at least). Check it out.