July 2, 2013: RHP Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop and two international signing bonus slots to Chicago Cubs for RHP Scott Feldman and C Steve Clevenger
Well, you knew this was coming. The Arrieta trade is probably the most frequently rehashed and second-guessed decision in Duquette’s Orioles tenure, so I won’t spend too much time harping on it here. Yes, the trade was defensible at the time — Arrieta was in the minors at the time and had used up all his chances with the Orioles, and the struggling Strop was out of options. And yes, there’s reason to believe that Arrieta never would have succeeded in Baltimore, considering his dwindling confidence and the differences of opinion between him and the coaching staff.
But trades are ultimately judged by their results, and the results of this one couldn’t have turned out worse for the Orioles. Arrieta blossomed as a Cy Young winner and World Series champion with the Cubs — and Strop has been a valuable member of their bullpen as well — while Feldman didn’t help the Orioles make the playoffs and left as a free agent after 2013. Duquette indirectly salvaged some value by swapping Clevenger for Mark Trumbo prior to the 2016 season, but it doesn’t ease the pain of trading away a future ace.