Baltimore Orioles: Trading in the AL East


The topic over the weekend of course has been trades – mainly regarding Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. However let’s back up for just a moment and talk about the Baltimore Orioles’ trade strategy overall. The O’s are one of many teams who have long standing organizational unwritten codes against trading within their division. And notice that I said one of many teams; this is not strictly an Orioles thing. But should the organization be more open to trades within the AL East?

Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

I’ll be honest with you up front – I say no. There has to be something in it for each side in order to make a deal, right? In general, that’s either a player that can help a team win now or in the future. Why should the Orioles (or any team for that matter) be in the business of helping division rivals win, be it now or later? You shouldn’t help to compliment the very group that you’re primarily trying to beat.

Having said that, keep in mind that Dan Duquette pulled off a trade within the AL East this year when he sent minor league pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez to Boston in exchange for Andrew Miller. Admittedly, that was a great trade for the Orioles – possibly their best move on the trade market since trading for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis. However time will also be telling in terms of how great of a trade it was. If Miller doesn’t end up in Baltimore next year and Rodriguez ends up having a great big league career for the BoSox, it probably doesn’t look quite as solid anymore. Worse yet, what if Miller goes back to Boston?

But that trade was the exception to the rule for the Orioles. The counter-argument is that if there’s something on the table that’s going to improve your franchise, why let the fact that it’s within the AL East detract you? And that’s probably a very popular opinion amongst people who would say that some of the thinking in baseball is antiquated. Those people might be right for all I know – I really have no idea. It just seems to me that while you might be getting better with a trade, it’s almost a wash if a division rival is getting better as well.