07/19/09 8:55 PM ET
Friars acquire Salazar from Orioles
Club sends reliever Meredith to Baltimore for utilityman
By Sandy Burgin / Special to MLB.com
The trade was made in part due to the injuries to infielders David Eckstein and Edgar Gonzalez.
Eckstein is currently on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring while Gonzalez, who was hit in the head by a pitch on Saturday night, will be placed on the DL Monday.
"The trade was probably expedited by what happened last night," said Padres GM Kevin Towers. "I had talked to Baltimore about Salazar. We had some favorable reports on him from last year, as well as this year. With Eck being down it gives us kind of a versatile infielder with a right-handed bat. He's got some power and plays seven different positions. He's a one-plus player so we control him for quite some time and he's somebody who can help us out coming off the bench."
Salazar, 31, has played in 17 games for the Orioles this season, hitting .419 (13-for-31) with two homers, six RBIs and four runs scored. He has appeared at first base, shortstop, third base and left field for Baltimore. In 50 games for Triple-A Norfolk, Salazar hit .372 (74-for-199) with 17 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 43 RBIs and 32 runs scored.
The utility infielder made his Major League debut with the Tigers in 2002 at the age of 23. Over parts of three Major League seasons with the Tigers ('02) and Orioles ('08-09) he hit .301 (40-for-133) with four doubles, eight home runs, 24 RBIs and 19 runs scored in 59 games.
"Cla's role significantly has changed over the past year and a half with us," Towers said. "We feel like guys like [Edward] Mujica and [Luke] Gregerson and [Mike] Adams have passed him up. He has a resilient arm, a guy who takes the ball every day, strike thrower, tough on right-handers, somebody who played a significant role in '06 and '07, but at times there are changes at the guard."
Meredith made 35 relief appearances for the Padres with a 4-1 record and a 4.17 ERA and leaves San Diego ranking sixth on the all-time appearance list (233).
"Right now I'm obviously excited and looking forward to the opportunity of helping a new club," said Meredith, who shook hands and hugged his Padres teammates after being informed of the trade. "These guys in here mean a whole, whole lot to me. This has been my home, these people have been my family, my teammates. I want to thank them and the city of San Diego for being so good to me. It's been a great run."
Sandy Burgin is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.