First the Baltimore Orioles added outfield depth with Alejandro De Aza, and then they pulled off another move. The second trade that brings in Kelly Johnson on the infield and sends away Jemile Weeks is a perfect fit for the surprise success of the American League in 2014. The teams also exchanged minor leaguers in the deal, but the fact that there were no marquee names is just the kind of thing the Orioles should have done.
When it comes to added depth in the outfield and infield, the Orioles didn’t need the biggest name on the market, and that perfectly allows them to add what they need without selling the farm. While the big name competitors — the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers — added and sold off big names to tune up for each other, no one seemed to remember the Orioles.
All they have done is to march out to a lead that is approaching double digits in the division. Why no one is thinking about them outside of the Orioles’ fanbase is anyone’s guess, but chances are they will be a force during the postseason. They are now deeper in the outfield and the infield in ways that should fit them perfectly.
Johnson is a solid fielder who can hit a little bit. He will not shock anyone with his bat, but he certainly does add a solid glove and a bench bat at the perfect time. The fact that they also gained a minor league infielder is just extra. Once again, in a matter of a couple of hours, the Orioles have traded to add depth where they need it most. Watch out for this team to continue to surprise when October gets here.