Grading each of Duquette's 14 summer trades as EVP of the Orioles - dating back to June 2012 - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Paul Folkemer

Grading each of Duquette’s 14 summer trades as EVP of the Orioles — dating back to June 2012

It’s non-waiver trade deadline day in Major League Baseball. By 4 this afternoon, we can finally separate truth from rumor — in the baseball world, anyway. We’ll know if Zach Britton and Brad Brach, among others, are sticking around Charm City a little longer. All eyes around here, of course, are on Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations. Any trades he makes will be dissected and scrutinized by fans and media alike.

Recently, I looked at some of Duquette’s notable “sell” deals at his previous GM gigs in Montreal and Boston. Now, let’s turn the focus squarely to his Orioles’ career — specifically, his history of deals near the July 31 and Aug. 31 trade deadlines, from acquiring Jim Thome in June 2012 to Jeremy Hellickson on Friday night.

I’ve graded every “buyer” trade Duquette has made in June, July and August since joining the Orioles. Which of Duquette’s trades provided the Orioles a shot in the arm? And which ones shot them in the foot?

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Bancells Moustache

    July 31, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Hopefully BB’s comment crowd is honest and admits what I will readily; that they were quite pleased with the Parra deal. At the time it looked to be the right move to get a high on-base guy, and if I recall correctly I was at Parra’s first game, or at least on of his first games, and he tore the cover off the ball. I don’t remember anyone lamenting the loss of Zach Davies that summer.
    Agree with Paul on grading be based on results, thus the failing grade on the Arrieta deal, but O’s fans need to admit to themselves that if Jake Arrieta remained in the Orioles system he would be out of professional baseball by now. It just wasn’t working here. It has worked somewhere else. That’s life sometimes.
    Gotta disagree and say the Miller deal was an A. I know, everyone gets all teary-eyed about Rodriguez, but the fact is that without Andrew Miller there is no ALCS in ’14, and an MLB ready pitching prospect is the cost of such services. (You would think everyone already knows that, since that’s what everyone is clamoring for in a potential Britton deal) Who knows, if the hitters don’t decide to take the week off against Kansas City like they did, we might be talking about Andrew Miller being the final piece to a World Series Champion.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Hard to argue your primary points. Tho I’m not sure you can grade a trade an A when ERod looks like a viable, controllable starter for years to come for a division rival. But I’d do that trade again. No regrets. I’m with Paul on the B.

  2. Nate Wardle

    July 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Agree completely with Bancells here. Knowing Rodriguez had knee issues (which have continued) and all Miller did to help try to get the Orioles to the World Series (which I think they would have won had they beat KC) makes it an A.

    And, Arrieta was never succeeding in Baltimore, unfortunately.

    The Norris trade was good at the time, but is looking more and more like a total failure (likely even worse than Arrieta). Sure, the draft is a crapshoot, but Fisher would be a major league starter if he wasn’t blocked in the Astros’ OF. And Hader, well he has been excellent so far in the Brewers pen.

    Really liked the article though!

    • Dan Connolly

      July 31, 2017 at 11:29 am

      No shot Norris trade will be worse than the Arrieta one. Arrieta won a Cy and a WS champion with team that acquired him. Meanwhile, Hader has already been moved once and it’s hard to fully evaluate Fisher’s value to the deal since the Astros picked him, not the Orioles (no telling what Os would have done with that pick). Plus, Norris was a disaster in 2 of 3 seasons, but he was a key component in 2014, including his gem to win the ALDS in Detroit. Bottom line: It was a bad trade that could look worse in time. BUT I’d be blown away if it comes close to Arrieta disaster proportions.

    • Paul Folkemer

      July 31, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks, Nate. I agree, some of these trades looked perfectly fine at the time. Full disclosure: I was in favor of the Arrieta/Feldman trade at the time, as well as the Miranda/Miley trade. But they turned into disasters for the Orioles. There’s no getting around that.

  3. revclocker

    July 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I understand the “individual” trade analysis but a team is built collectively. As a group we gave up FOUR effective major league starters (Arrieta, Miranda, Davies, and E-Rod) all currently pitching better than every starter this year except Bundy. Could we have used a couple starters, low-cost and controlled for years compared to some rentals? Not including Hader who has been nothing but very successful at every level. The indictment here is not of the trade efforts, in general, but of the O’s poor evaluation and organizational development concerning pitching. When your pitching prospects and “non-prospects” develop into viable major leaguers –quickly–after being traded–there’s a bigger issue than individual trade results. Peace

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Rev: and my response to that is let’s give it some time before we call some of these guys effective major league starters. Maybe you’ll be right. But I’m not condemning the full evaluation process because Miranda pitches well in Safeco’s caverns or Davies gets wins when his team scores six plus. And as much as I think ERod could succeed, how about he gets through a full season healthy. I get your point. But I don’t think these guys are the ones making it.

  4. jemummert

    July 31, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Was Parker Bridwell traded or was he released? He has been looking good for the Angels.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Kind of both. He was DFA’d and then sold to the Angels (traded for Chad considerations) before being waived. Again, his sample size is very small. But I could see him legitimately being considered one that got away in the near future.

  5. Colts7

    July 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Based on the grades, he would rate as average, 5(+) 5(-)3 (even). I think any fan would want and expect more from their decision maker. He has has very good success adding role players , but when it comes to big time moves, his track record isn’t very good. Time for a change. We all hear that we are at a critical crossroad for the team. He deserves credit for the success of the team, since his arrival, but it’s time to move on… and up.

    • revclocker

      July 31, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      I’m pretty sure Bridwell was released but he’s another guy actually pitching effectively in the majors, very quickly after the O’s decide with all our pitching woes he still couldn’t contribute. Sheesh! That’s SIX guys actively pitching effectively in the majors.
      On the flip side. I would like to know how many contending teams continue to have there everyday LINEUP, like ours, filled with essentially players, so poor, that not only would most other teams not start them or play them; they wouldn’t even roster them and yet they are “key” Oriole contributers.

      Craig Gentry? Joey Rickard? Not even bench players on most teams. Giovatella, maybe bench.
      Ryan Flaherty. How many major league seasons and at bats would Flaherty have—any where other than with the O’s?
      Are you telling me there’s not a better player than Gentry in the system? Is there another outfielder who could hit .250/under 300/under 400 than Rickard? Rickard defense is even marginal, never walks, (note to batters and managers–if you can’t hit .250 and have no power learn to at least walk more than once a week!)
      It drives me crazy that even during these years of “making it to” the playoffs our big league roster always contains 3-5 guys who –when we finally let go—-nobody else wants at all—let alone on the 25 man. (Reimhold sighting?)
      We are constantly battling with one arm (or 5 starters) tied behind our back.
      This team is PRIME for a TOTAL overhaul.
      At home many positions do we have above average production?

      1B No 2B Yes SS No, especially with the caliper of young ss everywhere
      3b Yes (though there’s a lot of 3B talent around also)
      C No (I’m talking above avg, not avg)
      CF No (again, talking above average)
      LF/RF Obviously NO
      DH No

      Starters NO Bullpen Yes
      SS, at least 1 corner OF, and starters are below avg

      That’s above avg at 2B 3B and Bullpen
      Is that a LEGITIMATE playoff team?

      • Paul Folkemer

        July 31, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        I have to disagree with you about the lineup. I think the Orioles have a good enough starting nine to make the playoffs — after all, they made it last season with essentially the same lineup. Yes, players like Rickard and especially Gentry aren’t particularly good, but I wouldn’t call those guys “key contributors.” They’re bench players. And a lot of teams have bad bench players. That’s why they’re bench players.

        I’d say the Orioles do have above-average production at catcher, at least offensively. O’s catchers have a .794 OPS this year, fourth-best in the AL. The other positions, I won’t quibble with your assessments.

        Still, I don’t think the offense is a big problem right now. It all boils down to the starting pitching, which has certainly been awful.

  6. LordBNic

    July 31, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I would have to say you were somewhat generous in your evaluation of DD as a trader. The Rodriguez for Miller trade would have been a A if the O’s had attempted to re-sign him and then traded him (like the Yankees did) to help rebuild their farm system. The Arrieta trade will go down in the annuals of baseball as one of Theo’s greatest deals in building the Cubs. Personally I thought it was a bad trade at the time being the scouting reports said the Arrieta should be a top of rotation starter.
    One question I would like to read others thoughts on is why the O’s organization has trouble developing pitchers? Is it the ball park or is it who ever hires the pitching coaches?

    You called Rickard a “bench player” (which I agree) but he has been starting in the outfield on a pretty regular basis. I realize the Buck likes his glove but right now he’s a reserve outfielder at best. It’s like they uses to say about former O’s shortstop, Willy Miranda, he was “good field – no hit”. The O’s starting nine has a lot of power but little speed and on-base hitters. Look at the Royals as a small market team and what they have accomplished but O’s management seems to be happy if they make the 1 game wild card playoff.

    One last question “Is it DD as GM or is it ownership that keeps the O’s from regaining what they had in the 60’s and 70’s?

    • revclocker

      July 31, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      Beckham is a perfect O’s SS. He led the Rays in Whiff-rate as he will K about 150 times this year with a minimal number of walks (less than 2 doz. at this point), with occasional pop but no on-base ability! YEA!!!

      Myers is really young but a 6th rounder who has pitched really well in his short sample at Aberdeen. 35K in 29IN with only 6BB and zero home runs.
      Watch Tampa Bay turn him into a ML starter. SMH

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