July 31, 2014: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston Red Sox for LHP Andrew Miller
Some might think a B is an overly generous grade for a trade that cost the Orioles a promising lefty pitching prospect in Rodriguez. And I understand that argument. Rodriguez has had a solid if unspectacular career in Boston so far, going 17-16 with a 4.17 ERA in 54 games (53 starts). He would certainly help the Orioles’ failing rotation right now, so it stings that he’s under control of a division rival through 2021.
Still, Duquette was willing to pay that price to help the division-leading Orioles make a run for the World Series. The club didn’t quite make it there, but Miller did everything humanly possible to get them close. He put up an otherworldly performance both in the regular season (a 1.35 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 20 innings) and in the playoffs (five scoreless appearances spanning 7 1/3 innings). Had he been traded to the Tigers — who were reportedly the runners-up in the trade talks with Boston — the Orioles may well have lost the ALDS instead of sweeping it.
In a go-for-broke season, Miller gave the Orioles everything they hoped for and more, even at a high cost. It was one of Duquette’s best deadline deals.
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