Earlier in the off season the Baltimore Orioles were offered a trade of Jhonny Peralta and Rick Porcello in exchange for J.J. Hardy. Luckily for Orioles’ fans, Dan Duquette kicked the tires but ultimately turned that deal down. (Peralta and Porcello are decent players, but let’s not forget that Hardy was an MVO candidate in 2012.) With that said, I had the opprotunity yesterday to examine the current PED situation in major league baseball a bit further, and I came across this article (link included)…
Courtesy of William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
…Dan Duquette’s decision is looking better and better. As I’ve said in the past, I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I’m not willing to convict Peralta or anyone else in a court of public opinion unless I see evidence (or an admission of guilt). HOWEVER, the fact is that just because you can’t convict someone in a court of law doesn’t mean that having that stigma attached to your name doesn’t carry weight. Perhaps Dan Duquette knew that a story of this nature was about to come out, and he didn’t want to take on someone that could be implicated in a PED ring. Either that, or perhaps Detroit’s yearn to rid themselves of someone like Peralta came across as overly urgent in Duquette’s eyes. The third and most probable possibility is that Duquette simply felt that Peralta and Porcello didn’t compensate for the loss of J.J. Hardy.
That said, work with me here folks. Had Duquette pulled the trigger on that trade and Peralta was/is ultimately suspended for PED use, that’s 50 games. Detroit’s vision was that Peralta could play third base for the O’s, while Manny Machado would have slid back over to his natural position of shortstop. (Nice of them to figure it all out for the O’s!) So take Peralta away for 50 games…the Orioles are deeper at the infield corners within the organization than they are at middle infield positions. So I suspect that Machado would have remained at shortstop and Wilson Betemit or perhaps Ryan Flaherty would end up being the everyday third baseman. That’s not exactly what people want to hear. Ultimately, Machado at the hot corner and Hardy at short sounds a lot better than Betemit/Flaherty at third and Machado at short (or even Peralta at third).
Again, I think that the veto was made on the deal due more to the fact that the Orioles didn’t want to give up Hardy as opposed to anything else. Furthermore, I’m not willing to point the finger at Peralta for PED use…right now. But it would be naive to say that his name being included on that list was a good thing. For the record, Detroit was already stitching Hardy’s name on the back of a Tigers’ jersey. They’ve been hot on him for awhile, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to make one final push to get him during spring training. That’s just a hunch of mine, however as I said they were desperately trying to aquire Hardy for most of the winter. It was almost a bizzare stalker-like fascination. Ultimately I think they’re going to have to deal with whatever is in store for Jhonny Peralta on their own, and J.J. Hardy will be the Orioles’ starting shortstop on April 1st.