Sometimes the best course of action is to take no action. (Unless you’re the Philadelphia Phillies, but I digress.)
With the July 31 Major League Baseball trade deadline now behind us, we can take note that many teams–the Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox–were very active.
The Baltimore Orioles, however, who are in first place and still have some pitching needs, made only one move.
The Orioles acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox for 21-year-old left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
Miller is having himself a nice year, appearing in 52 games and pitching to a 2.25 ERA. In 44 innings, Miller has a ridiculous 71 strikeouts, compared to only 14 walks. That’s a nice piece to have in your bullpen come October.
The O’s gave up Rodriguez, who Baseball America ranked as the 65th best prospect before the 2014 season. Before being dealt, Rodriguez was 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 starts at AA Bowie.
The Orioles certainly could use some starting pitching help, and with several big names out there, fans were hopeful the O’s might snag one of them. Pitchers like David Price, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Bartolo Colon were the main names being thrown around.
What fans need to realize is that the asking prices of these players was pretty high, and more than the O’s should spend.
Price wound up going to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal in which the Tigers sent their star center-fielder, Austin Jackson, to the Seattle Mariners. I also doubt the Tampa Bay Rays would send their prized pitcher to a team in the same division. The Red Sox sent Lester to the Athletics, but the A’s paid dearly, giving up their young left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who at the time of the deal was hitting around .250 with 17 home runs.
The Phillies were tossing around Lee and Hamels but were asking for way too much. The O’s have some good young prospects, but I think they would be stupid to give up Dylan Bundy or Hunter Harvey, who is 19 years old and might be even better than Bundy or Kevin Gausman. As it turned out, Lee left his next start with an elbow issue, so luckily the O’s didn’t move on him. Colon–at 41 years old and not exactly in peak physical condition–is too risky.
So, that leaves the O’s with the roster they have, plus a new lefty reliever who has been lights out. They might make a move post-waivers, but that will remain to be seen.
Even though the O’s are in first and have a need, they stuck to their guns and didn’t overpay, for which I am glad. If Gausman, Bundy, and Harvey live up to their potential, the O’s will have three great arms up in the near future. Dan Duquette knows what he is doing, and right now he has a team with some very good team chemistry, as well as a five-game lead in the American League East.
by Andy Mindzak