Trying to figure out how Strop got here

I appreciated the many responses I got on Twitter yesterday when I tweeted my confusion over the Orioles’ acquisition of right-handed pitcher Pedro Strop.

It was announced that he was claimed on waivers but also some reports said he was claimed as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Mike Gonzalez to Texas. I was confused about that. If he was the player to be named later, why did the O’s have to then also claim him on waivers, I wondered.

As an aside here, yes it is a slow blog day if this is my topic this morning. But some fans like the minute details explained. If you do, read on.

Here is what happened as I now understand it: While some reporters listed Strop as the likely player to be named in the Gonzo trade and headed for Baltimore, he was never officially the player to be named. In fact, the O’s got cash back from Texas for Gonzalez.

They wanted Strop, but he would have to clear waivers before he could be traded and a team other than the Orioles could have possibly claimed Strop, thereby keeping him from coming to Baltimore in a trade.

Had the Orioles won Wednesday night, instead of losing 13-0, Kansas City would have assumed the spot as team with the worst record in the American League and could have claimed Strop before the Orioles. The team with the worst record has the first shot at claiming waived players.

When the O’s did not win, they remained the club with the worst AL record and had first right to claim Strop when he was waived - which they did and they supposedly used some of the money they got from Texas to complete the financial part of the claim.

So in the end, I guess in an official sense, Mike Gonzalez was traded to Texas for cash. Later, the Orioles claimed Strop on waivers.

The Orioles communications department sent me this notice on Twitter yesterday about the move: “Technically, traded Gonzalez to Rangers for cash and used the cash to claim Strop on waivers. Used PTBNL language since easier.”

I am told that if another team had claimed Strop before the Orioles, the O’s would then have gotten another player from Texas as a player to be named. But they wanted Strop and now they have him.

If you are still confused, I can probably understand that. But I think I understand the whole thing now. I think I do.

By the way the 26-year-old Strop is 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA (9.2IP, 4ER) in 11 games for Texas this season. He pitched to a 3.59 ERA (47.2IP, 19ER) in 39 games with Triple-A Round Rock in 2011.

Strop is 19-15 with a 3.79 ERA in 202 career minor league games with the Colorado and Texas organizations. In 33 career major league games with the Rangers over the last three seasons, Strop posted a 7.24 ERA (27.1IP, 22ER).

Here is something you may not know. Strop was originally signed by the the Colorado Rockies as a non-drafted free agent in January 2002 and he spent the first four years of his professional career as a shortstop before becoming a pitcher in 2006.

The Orioles just completed the month of August by going 12-17 with a team ERA of 4.79 during the month. On offense, the team average was .261 and the Orioles hit 33 homers while scoring 4.7 runs per game during the month.

As for individual players, Matt Wieters had a strong August. In 24 games, he hit .302 with eight doubles, five homers, 15 RBIs and a .951 OPS.

In 26 August games, J.J. Hardy hit .297 with seven doubles, eight homers, 20 RBIs and a .890 OPS. Mark Reynolds hit .245 in 28 games with eight homers, 17 RBIs and a .814 OPS. Ryan Adams hit .333 (12-for-36) in 10 games this month.

On the mound, Chris Jakubauskas had no record but an ERA of 1.06 in August. In 10 games, he pitched 17 innings allowing 13 hits and just two runs.

Brad Bergesen was 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in eight games over 16 2/3 innings. Zach Britton was 2-1 with an ERA of 2.60 in three August starts.

Before he headed for Texas, Gonzalez put together 10 1/3 scoreless innings in the month with 15 strikeouts.

That brings us full circle today on this blog. Gonzo is gone and now we know what the Orioles got in return and we think we know how they did it.

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