An O's third round draft pick in 2008, the Orioles were the only pro team LJ Hoes has ever known. But today he is walking down the hall to join his new team in Houston.
"My mind is racing," Hoes said a few minutes ago. "Kind of got my dream come true the other day to start for the hometown team. Now getting traded to the other locker room. It's different, never saw it coming, just got to keep it moving.
"It's still all surreal. Talking with Jonesey this morning. He said you could get traded, you never know. Came back here and saw on MLB Network I got traded. A whirlwind, but I'm enjoying it.
"It's rough because I have a great relationship with some of these guys, but you have to understand this is a business. The Orioles are contending for the playoffs and they needed another arm. I wish those guys the best of luck. They have a tremendous team with tremendous guys."
Hoes has a lot of family and friends coming to Camden Yards tonight. They'll still get to see him play, but coming out of the third base dugout this time. He said his father was already looking into flights to Houston to help him move.
He met with O's skipper Buck Showalter before leaving the O's clubhouse.
"I thanked Buck for everything he's done," Hoes said. "He's a great manager and I learned a lot from him. It seems like he really liked me alot. He told me this was a great opportunity to make the best of it and play hard.
"I look at it as a positive thing. Another team values you enough to give up a key piece to acquire you and help them build a future. Want to go there, help them win games and make the playoffs in a few years."
Hoes said his good friend Jones reminded him he was traded as a young player once and it's worked out well for him.
"We actually had talked about that," Hoes said." "'Look, being traded sometimes is a good thing.' He went from Seattle to the Orioles and now they are a contending team. Its around the same age when we both traded. He said just go make the best of the opportunity."
Hoes joked that now he had to head over to the Houston clubhouse and check out the scouting report on Miguel Gonzalez.
"I have to see how to face him tonight," Hoes said. "It is definitely weird, he is one of my good friends. When I started Sunday I sat next to him and talked about how (Jon) Lester was attacking me. It will be fine."