Dan Duquette knew that in order to bolster his bullpen, it was going to cost him in a big way.
The Baltimore Orioles general manager made a run for it at the 2014 trade deadline when he worked a deal with the Boston Red Sox and traded for Boston reliever Andrew Miller.
Desperately needing to add some bullpen help for the stretch run and the playoffs, Duquette ultimately knew what he had to do: He had to trade prized pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez.
“I offered about 50 other pitchers before him,” Duquette recently told the Boston Herald. “It was required that we give up Rodriguez for Andrew Miller. We had to take a shot.”
The Orioles made the playoffs but ultimately lost in the American League Championship Series to the Kansas City Royals. In the offseason, Miller left Baltimore and signed with the New York Yankees. Meanwhile, in Red Sox camp, Rodriguez has the potential makings of a future ace.
Duquette got an up-close-and-personal reminder of Rodriguez’s talent Saturday when the left-hander threw three perfect innings against the Orioles in Grapefruit League action.
“We have some other pitching depth, that’s true, but it was painful to trade Eduardo Rodriguez,” said Duquette. “It would have been less painful if we had won the pennant, obviously. It was a good trade for the Red Sox.”
Indeed it was.
Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus all list Rodriguez as a top 100 prospect, and the Red Sox surely have big expectations for the soon-to-be-22-year-old. In six starts at Double-A Portland after the trade, Rodriguez went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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