July and the non-waiver portion of the Major League Baseball trade deadline has passed. I think it is fair to say that GM Dan Duquette and the Baltimore Orioles have been very proactive in trying to upgrade their roster.
On July 3rd, they traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Scott Feldman. In somewhat of a surprise move, Baltimore acquired veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez in exchange for infield prospect Nick Delmonico.
Wednesday, the Orioles swung a deal with the Houston Astros for RHP Bud Norris. Duquette sacrificed OF L.J. Hoes, lefty pitching prospect Josh Hader and a draft pick, for a guy with a 36-46 career record.
Obviously, Feldman and Norris were brought in to bolster a rotation that is sporting a 4.67 ERA. Feldman has been alright for the Orioles (3-2, 5.12 ERA), but he will never remind anyone of Mike Mussina.
In Norris, Baltimore gets a pitcher who posted a 6.38 ERA in July and struggles against left-handed hitters (.300 BA).
He is signed through 2015, which made him more attractive.
Feldman and Rodriguez are free-agents after the season.
In addition to the arms, the Birds were also looking to add a bat. Seattle’s Michael Morse was mentioned a few times on Wednesday as a possible target.
Of all the players Baltimore got rid of, the one they may regret losing the most is Hader. From Millersville, Hader was a 19th-round pick in 2012 and he has been very impressive during his brief career. So much so, that he was recently tabbed as the fifth-best prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
As we all know, teams are not just going to give away their best talent. You have to take chances to get better. In trading away Delmonico, Hoes and Hader –three of their Top 10 prospects– Duquette took a chance.
Are these moves enough to put the Orioles in playoffs?
Only time will tell. However, it is August. We’ll start finding out soon enough.