Did Kansas City beat the Orioles in the Jeremy Guthrie trade?


Jeremy Guthrie of course pitched game seven of the World Series for the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. But when Guthrie looks back on his career, he’ll have no choice but to notice that he spent more time with the Baltimore Orioles than any other franchise. Guthrie of course was traded to Colorado prior to the 2012 season, and while he’s thus missed out on the Orioles’ return to glory, he had some decent years in an Oriole uniform.

He was traded during that 2012 season to Kansas City, and his numbers have taken off just a bit ever since. Mind you, he hasn’t turned into a staff ace by any means. However he’s posted a few more wins each year since then. In fairness, he’s also had a much better bullpen behind him than he ever had in Baltimore, and he’s pitching in a ballpark which yields very few home runs.

Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

So the question is whether or not Kansas City won that trade. Well first off the answer is a resounding NO in the context that they weren’t even involved in the trade which involved the Orioles. However the fact is that Guthrie would go on to start game seven of the World Series in the wake of leaving the Orioles. So would you rather be the Orioles, having lost the ALCS to Guthrie’s Kansas City club, or Guthrie who at least made it to the World Series?

It’s an interesting question. However I would submit that if there’s a victor in the trade, it’s the Orioles. The Birds got Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom in return for Guthrie (from Colorado). The O’s wouldn’t have gone to the post season in 2012 had that trade not happened. (Furthermore, Hammel signed in Chicago after last year and was then traded to Oakland…where he had the opportunity to return to the post season this year as well.) Hammel was a solid starter for sure with the Orioles, and Lindstrom helped anchor the back end of the Orioles’ pen in 2012.

But the fact remains that Guthrie was starting a World Series game seven, and the O’s were sitting at home – due of course to Guthrie and his teammates. So one might argue that yes…in fact, Kansas City won a trade in which they weren’t even involved. But the fact is that this type of thing is part of the sports business. And that’s the risk you run by trading people.

If you want to say that the O’s were on the short end of that stick, you might well have legitimate arguments. However if that’s the case it’s tough to be overly harsh on the likes of Dan Duquette for that given his track record in trades. If Andrew Miller walks does that suddenly mean that the O’s lost that trade as well? I would say not, given the production that the team got out of Miller. It’s all relative in a sense, and it really matters how you want to look at things in deciding who came out ahead.

Incidentally, congrats O’s fans! You made it through the first month of the 2014-15 off season given that today is November 1st. Granted the O’s haven’t been off a month of course, but the old season doesn’t end at the same time for everyone. The new season on the other hand begins at the same time for everyone. Time will pass eventually…tick-tock!