I’ve seen a few different reactions in the wake of the trade that sent Justin Upton and Chris Johnson from Arizona to Atlanta for a handful of players (including Martin Prado). Some folks say that the Baltimore Orioles lucked out given that the odds of Arizona trading Upton and Jason Kubel are not good. However there are an equal number of fans who are saying that Dan Duquette dragged his feet once again and lost out. Ironically there’s also a third group of people; those who were against the trade to begin with, but who also think this illustrates Duquette’s unwillingness to make a deal.
Regardless of what you thought of the Orioles potentially aquirring Kubel, the fact is that it’s looking like he probably won’t be leaving Arizona. (Obviously that’s not something that’s set in stone, as it could still happen if the O’s offered the right package of players.) So I suppose the question is whether or not Dan Duquette dragged his feet too much, and/or whether or not the Orioles missed an opprotunity as a result. First off, we don’t know what the Diamondbacks were asking in return. I said yesterday that I felt Kubel probably wasn’t good enough of a hitter for Arizona to ask for the likes of Bundy or Machado. But how do we know that they didn’t?
My point is that from the outside it does appear that Dan Duquette hasn’t pulled the trigger on several potential trades that would have otherwise improved the team year-over-year. But how would Orioles’ fans feel when they saw Manny Machado hitting moon shots at Camden Yards, or Dylan Bundy striking out the side…both against the Orioles? Furthermore, Kubel being off the market is a ripple effect of the Upton trade. That trade was between Arizona and Atlanta…the Orioles had nothing to do with it.
However the question at hand is whether or not the Orioles missed out on an opprotunity to better themselves by getting Jason Kubel. The answer to that is yes. Kubel might strike out a bit, but he would have provided some nice power for the Orioles’ lineup. However I’m not sure that there’s much that Dan Duquette could have done to prevent that from happening. Atlanta gave away A LOT to get Justin Upton and Chris Johnson. Similar to the Bedard-for Jones (and others) trade, that’s the kind of trade on which Atlanta better be right, otherwise people’s jobs might roll. Kudos to them I suppose for being willing to run the risk of trading five players (including Martin Prado) away in one fatal swoop, but that’s a risk that I would hope most Orioles fans would rather Dan Duquette not take.
I think that the issue here is that most fans want to be a part of the off season buzz, be it by making a trade or by a major free agent splash. Last year’s big trades were Dana Eveland and Taylor Teagarden. While Eveland was a bust, Teagarden’s bat did win two very key games for the Orioles last year (against Detroit and Tampa). I suppose my point is that I think it’s better to make a big splash in the regular season than in the off season. And there’s no doubt that the 2012 Orioles made a splash in the regular season.