The Baltimore Orioles were willing to take drastic measures last summer in hopes of securing a trip to the World Series.
That included dealing promising left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox for reliever Andrew Miller — a trade that didn’t exactly work out the way the O’s had planned. Baltimore’s title run stalled out in the American League Championship Series, Miller bolted for the New York Yankees after the season, and Rodriguez has looked nearly unhittable thus far in his brief major league career.
As the Orioles prepared to welcome Rodriguez to Orioles Park at Camden Yards for the first time, O’s executive vice president Dan Duquette lamented what could have been.
“This trade would have been a terrific trade for the team if we won the pennant,” Duquette said Monday, via The Baltimore Sun. “Having not succeeded in our quest to win the pennant, it’s not such a great deal today. I think that when you get that close, you owe it to your team and to your fans to take a shot at winning the pennant and then go out and try to sign some others.”
Miller was a highly coveted arm at last season’s trade deadline, and he came as advertised for the Orioles, posting a 1.35 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in 23 relief appearances. That effectiveness carried over into the playoffs, as the former Red Sox lefty allowed just one hit in 7 1/3 scoreless innings over five postseason appearances.
That wasn’t enough to push the O’s to the promised land, though, as the Kansas City Royals swept them to claim their first AL pennant since 1985.
“Obviously, Andrew Miller is an extremely talented pitcher and we knew at the time he had the kind of physical ability to help us get over the hump, if you will, and try to win the pennant,” Duquette said, via the Sun. “We also knew that Eduardo Rodriguez was young and had good pitches and strength and youth on his side, but again, we were trying to win.
“At that point in the season, with the team that we had, we decided that we would give up a future asset for the opportunity to win the pennant last year. In many ways, it’s the cost of doing business.”
Rodriguez, who started Tuesday’s game against the Orioles, allowed just one total run in 14 1/3 innings for the Red Sox over his first two major league starts.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images