Catcher Taylor Teagarden has been traded by the Texas Rangers to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later.
No news yet on who, specifically, the minor league pitcher is, but my guess is both players coming back are going to be fringe prospects, at best.
Teagarden was drafted by the Rangers in the third round of the 2005 draft, with Texas going above-slot to sign the former Texas Longhorn. Teagarden has, throughout his career as both an amateur and a pro, gotten great reviews for his work behind the plate and game-calling skills, but his bat has always been a question.
After missing almost all of the 2006 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Teagarden had a breakout campaign in 2007, splitting the season between Bakersfield and Frisco and mashing at both levels. His ability to draw walks and hit for power had folks excited about the possibility of him being a force offensively (for a catcher, anyway) at the major league level.
Teagarden hit 6 homers in 53 plate appearances while putting up a .319/.396/.809 line in 2008 with the Rangers, but never has been able to come close to that since. His biggest issue is a lack of bat speed, which has resulted in a whopping 142 strikeouts in 392 major league plate appearances. I remember reading somewhere that Teagarden would be a solid major league starter if he could just hit .240...well, his career major league line is .220/.286/.417, and his contact issues seem to have relegated him to a career backup role.
According to the various reports out there, Buck Showalter is a big fan of Teagarden's (Buck was the most influential voice in the organization in 2005, when Teagarden was drafted), and he will apparently be slotted as Matt Weiters' backup with the Orioles for 2012.
Teagarden is out of options, and with Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba expect to handle most of the catching duties for Texas in 2012, he didn't really have a roster spot.
Teagarden will get a chance to carve out a role for himself as a regular reserve with the Orioles, and joins a plethora of former Rangers (including Chris Davis, Pedro Strop, Tommy Hunter, Clay Rapada, Josh Rupe, and Zach Phillips) in the Oriole organization.
UPDATE -- The pitcher the Rangers acquired from the Orioles is Randy Henry, a 21 year old righty who was a fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2009. He's pitched strictly in relief as a pro.
|2010||20||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A-||BAL||1||2||.333||5.87||11||0||23.0||30||18||15||1||6||0||30||109||1.565||11.7||0.4||2.3||11.7||5.00|
|2011||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||BAL||4||3||.571||2.22||29||0||52.2||48||16||13||4||8||0||40||210||1.063||8.2||0.7||1.4||6.8||5.00|
|A (2 seasons)||A||5||1||.833||3.15||30||0||60.0||59||27||21||4||11||0||59||252||1.167||8.8||0.6||1.6||8.8||5.36|
|A- (1 season)||A-||0||1||.000||13.50||1||0||0.2||2||1||1||0||1||0||0||4||4.500||27.0||0.0||13.5||0.0||0.00|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||0||3||.000||3.60||9||0||15.0||17||6||6||1||2||0||11||63||1.267||10.2||0.6||1.2||6.6||5.50|