The Final Verdict
We’ll start with a strict on-field interpretation. The Astros got 3.8 WAR from Tejada over two seasons. The Orioles got 3.5 WAR from Scott, 2.8 from Patton, 0.9 from Albers and 0.1 from Sarfate, for a total of 7.3 WAR. So in that sense, the Orioles came out ahead.
However, it’s hard to say they got their expected value from anyone aside from Scott. He was a slightly above-average hitter and below average defender, which was basically his M.O. for his career. Albers didn’t pitch particularly well, Patton only made it as a reliever for three years, and Sarfate and Costanzo basically gave the club nothing at the major league level.
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Tejada wasn’t the player he used to be, but he still was above-average offensively and about average on defense, on the whole. The fact that the Astros failed to make the postseason wasn’t his fault, and it’s hard to think they would have done any better if they hadn’t made the trade.
Besides, it was likely ownership’s mandate to try and win. By this point, a rebuild was probably in order, but I doubt Drayton McLane wanted that. Wade was likely hired with the mandate to get the club back into the postseason, and the team did have a decent core of Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt. Adding Tejada and Valverde to that mix wasn’t a bad idea.
In the end, the Astros sold high on Patton, which was probably for the best in hindsight. They gave up two young pitchers who would only amount to relievers, plus a solid if unspectacular hitter in Scott, who was without a position thanks to the emergence of Pence and the acquisition of Michael Bourn. In return, they got a player who would make two straight All-Star teams with the club.
So in the end, since the Orioles only really got some decent production from Scott and three solid years of relief from Patton, I’d call this trade a wash. The Astros seemingly gave up a big haul at the time, but Tejada was a solid player and the prospects sent to Baltimore didn’t pan out as expected.