Diner Question: What were Duquette's best and worst trades? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Diner Question: What were Duquette’s best and worst trades?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Major trades have already been made, and there’s a chance more will be made during the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Las Vegas.

The Orioles haven’t made major trades at the Winter Meetings since Andy MacPhail was in charge in 2010, when they acquired J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds.

Nearly everyone can list some of the Orioles’ best and worst trades. The 1966 acquisition of Frank Robinson from the Cincinnati Reds for starting pitcher Milt Pappas is considered the best. It led to the Orioles’ first World Series championship and a period of dominance.

MacPhail’s 2008 trade with the Seattle Mariners, when the Orioles picked up Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and George Sherrill for Erik Bedard, is also a strong one.

In January 1991, the Orioles made arguably their worst trade when they sent Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling to Houston for Glenn Davis, who suffered a nerve injury in his neck during his first spring training with the Orioles and never lived up to expectations.

Let’s get more contemporary and examine the trades made by Mike Elias’ predecessor at general manager, Dan Duquette.

Many believe Duquette’s  July 2013 trade of Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger was his worst.

There’s another one that might have been worse, his July 2015 deal with Milwaukee, when the Orioles sent Zach Davies to the Brewers for Gerardo Parra.

His best? How about his first when he set the tone for the Orioles’ turnaround in 2012 when he dealt Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies just before spring training for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, and flipped Lindstrom in August to Arizona for Joe Saunders, who won the wild-card game.


As we wait for Elias’ first trade, we look back at the Duquette years.

This Week’s Diner Question: What do you think were the best and worst trades by Dan Duquette?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. OsfaninNC

    December 4, 2018 at 8:27 am

    The Glenn Davis trade was bad with 20/20 hindsight. If I recall correctly when it was made it was seen as a good trade. Who could foresee that Davis would get hurt–in a bar fight I believe?— and never be the same player

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Osfan, it was seen as a good trade at the time. Who would have thought Curt Schilling was a possible Hall of Famer? And at the time, Steve Finley was considered too similar to Brady Anderson.

      • In The Triangle

        December 4, 2018 at 9:42 am

        Two starting pitchers and a starting outfielder for a first baseman?


    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

      In the Triangle, one of the great things about Orioles fans is that we’re still debating trades from nearly 28 years ago.


    December 4, 2018 at 9:11 am

    2013: Devin Jones to SD for Brad Brach
    2014: Steve Clevinger to SEA for CJ Riefenhauser and Mark Trumbo
    2017: Yovanni Gallardo to SEA for Seth Smith
    2017: PTBNL to NYY for Richard Bleier
    2017: Jon Keller to COL for Miguel Castro
    2017: Int’l bonus money to SEA for Paul Fry
    2018: Jonathan Schoop to MIL for Jonathan Villar, Luis Ortiz, and Jean Carmona
    2018: Zach Britton to NYY for Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll, and Josh Rogers
    2018: Manny Machado to LAD for Yusniel Diaz, Breyvic Valera, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon, and Dean Kremer

    2013: Jake Arrietta & Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevinger
    2014: Stephen Brault & Steven Tarpley to PIT for Travis “The Lunchbox” Snider
    2015: Zach Davies to MIL for Gerardo Parra

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Cash, good work here. I agree with you on Brach, but I think it’s early on the July trades. But what about Richard Bleier from the Yankees? I rank that nearly as high because Bleier had good stats with New York, and suddenly became available and Duquette grabbed him.


        December 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

        Thanks, Mr. Rich. Agreed on the July trades. I had Bleier on the list 🙂

    • Olney Ogre

      December 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Great job Cash on answering the Diner Question with a very responsive list .

  3. Bancells Moustache

    December 4, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Duquette got the 2016 HR champion for a AAAA catcher. Richard Bleier? Come on now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

      That was a good deal for Trumbo, Bancells.

  4. bmorebirds

    December 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Sending Jonathan Schoop to Milwaukee for Jonathan Villar and minor league shortstop Jean Carmona was some sweet pickpocket action on Duquette’s part. Milwaukee’s GM has already admitted he got fleeced. Meanwhile, I can see Villar being a member of the Orioles’ 2021 playoff team. And Carmona is very highly regarded.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 9:59 am

      bmore, that’s one that at the time was panned because Schoop had another year of club control. If the Orioles are in the playoffs in 2021, that would give us something to really talk about.

      • Lookouts400

        December 4, 2018 at 10:57 am

        What’s more, who expected Schoop to bomb like he did? If he had maintained production any where close to what he did the year before, or had just started doing, Stearns wouldn’t be talking about how bad this trade was. But, when you are talking human beings, these things happen. When the robots take over playing the games, we won’t be having these discussions.

        • Rich Dubroff

          December 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

          Lookouts, the Schoop outcome was a definite surprise to me.

  5. boss61

    December 4, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I thought getting club-controllable Bud Norris from the Astros was pretty shrewd at the time. The 2014 team would have enjoyed less success without Norris. That masterful waiver-wire derring do that kept Steve Pearce an Oriole was pretty shrewd too.

    Obviously the Arietta and Strop trade warrants a redo. The Parra trade as you mention is another one, but who knew he would so flame out here? Some guys are just better elsewhere than in Baltimore for whatever reason. File that sad observation under Miley, Wade.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts, Mark.


      December 5, 2018 at 8:24 am

      The Bud Norris deal helped at the time, but didn’t we give up Josh Hader in the deal?
      Doesn’t look so good anymore.

      Same with the Eduardo Rodriguez deal.

      Parra was never more than decent before he came here. You don’t give up a good prospect pitcher for a “decent” player.

  6. mlbbirdfan

    December 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Gausman gift: bad
    Andrew Miller: superb
    Also: Duke signed Cruz. Good.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks for weighing in, mlbbirdfan.

  7. DevoTion

    December 4, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Besides what everyone else is commenting, which I mostly agree with. I am not too happy with just getting international money for players, maybe if the O’s had a better international scouting team it may have worked out better, maybe it will work out down the road, but I would rather have gotten prospects.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Devo, as I’ve written before, I think Duquette’s accumulation of international money was naive because the Orioles didn’t have the scouting infrastructure to follow through.


        December 5, 2018 at 8:26 am

        The Atlanta deal was a salary dump. We did not get one serious Atlanta prospect.

  8. TheGreat8

    December 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    How about when he traded Chris Davis straight up for Clayton Kershaw. And then Buck was so happy he rode a motorcycle around Camden Yards dressed as Ricky Vaughn. You guys don’t remember that?? Ahhh a man can dream…

  9. BirdsCaps

    December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    There are a few Duquette trades that stick out. Even though we paid market value (and we would love to have Eduardo Rodriguez back), I thought that the acquisition of Andrew was a great move. Miller was almost unhittable in ’14 and if we resigned Miller (and let O’Day’s contract expire) we would remember this deal much more favorably. Also, the Schoop (sad to see him go) was quite good. Honestly, the worst deal that he did might have been the Machado deal. Reports from last offseason had a rumored package of Alex Verdugo to Baltimore (not sure if there were a few low level prospects thrown in) for Machado. This would have been a much better return than Diaz and the bunch of low level prospects we got at mid season. In other words, waiting until the break likely cost the Orioles a top tier prospect and a much faster rebuild. Of course there is the awful Arrieta trade and the Parra fiasco (he couldn’t hit to save his life), but the Machado miss might have long term consequences. I think Duquette’s eye for bargain last minute signing (Trumbo and Cruz) was his greatest talent, while his ability to deal was mediocre at best.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 4, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      BirdsCaps, I liked his acquisitions of Richard Bleier and Brad Brach for almost nothing, too.

      • BirdsCaps

        December 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm

        I Forgot about the Brach one, it was a good one.

  10. jimcarter

    December 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Trades aside, Duquette’s biggest screw up was Nelson Cruz. The guy exceeded everyone’s expectations and he was allowed to walk. Over the length of his Seattle contract, he led the majors in home runs.

    • bv22

      December 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Can’t forget about letting Markakis walk too- not only did we spend the next 4 years trying to find his replacement, they gave up a good prospects for Parra and Snider and Markakis wound up being consistently decent in Atlanta.

  11. Mitz_8

    December 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Hello Rich, I believe DD had some great transactions and some forgettable ones as everyone already has stated.

    A few things I’d like to note though: Both Arrieta and Gausman appear to have had very successful season(s) after leaving the O’s and trading them away may appear to have been terrible trades, but I wonder if the results are reflections of how the O’s failed to develop young, talented pitchers into dominant starters.

    I also agree with everyone here that it would have been nice to have Eduardo Rodriguez right now, but Andrew Miller was so dominant once he arrived in Baltimore and not giving up any runs in ALDS or ALCS. I’m not sure if we would have made it through ALDS without Miller in 2014. He was as dominant as a reliever could be at the time.

    Bud Norris was a major part of the same 2014 team that won the pennant. Even though everybody in the world would love to have Josh Hader now, I believe we’d still be at the bottom of AL East right now and for the next couple of years even if we had Rodriguez and Hader.

    Personally, one of my favorite DD moves was picking up Miguel González (I understand this would be a different topic as we did not trade for him) and the least favorite was letting Miguel go just to save a few bucks (again, we did not trade him away; we just released him after a bad spring training).

    And Steve Pearce…. I’m not exactly sure how things work in baseball, but he was released by the O’s early in 2014 only to be re-signed a couple of days later, and he was the driving force in winning the pennant in 2014. I’m not sure if it was DD or someone else who was responsible for re-signing Pearce but that obviously was an extremrely smart move.

  12. bats in the blefary

    December 9, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    DD’s best trade? None.

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