Baltimore Orioles: Should Dan Duquette look for August trades?
I think that the consensus around Baltimore Orioles fans is that Dan Duquette did a decent job for the Birds at the non-waiver trade deadline last week. My personal opinion is that he addressed the club’s most pressing need in obtaining a strong-hitting corner outfielder. However the trade season isn’t over – not by a long shot.
Growing up watching baseball in the summers, I nary recall too many trades occuring past July 31st. However in recent years I would submit that trades in August (through waivers) have become more and more popular. The Orioles have done it a few times over the past couple of seasons, as have numerous other clubs. Basically a team puts a player on waivers, which means he can be claimed by any other team (in the order of the standings). If he isn’t claimed, he’s then cleared waivers and can be traded.
This is obviously much more risky given the fact that basically the entire league has a shot at the player(s) before the trade can happen. (Incidentally if another team claims the player the original team can pull him back. But if they do not, the claiming team gets the player – and responsibility for his entire contract.) Most non-contending teams won’t block trades, but often times contending teams will make claims on guys just to block a player from going to a rival.
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I would submit that Dan Duquette needs to be active during August if the Orioles are going to have a good shot at returning to the post season. Our host network, Fansided, published this article last week explaining the process, and offering some players who might see themselves traded through waivers. You’ll notice Justin Upton‘s name on that list; he’s a guy in whom the Orioles were interested leading up to the non-waiver deadline. Might he still be available?
I suspect that San Diego didn’t move Upton because they didn’t get an offer that fit in with their view of Upton’s true value. And quite frankly I can’t blame them for that – as Showalter’s often said, you never want to let other teams undervalue your players. However August is also a time when prices tend to head into the bargain basement on players. First and foremost, there is some risk involved in trading a guy through waivers. However secondly, players like Upton aren’t worth as much as they were prior to last week…they won’t be on the new team as long.
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Regardless of whether or not it’s Justin Upton or someone else, I think the O’s do need to look into making at least one move before August 31st. The reason I singled Upton out on that list is because he’s an outfielder; and the O’s could still use a bit more pop out there. Furthermore the platoon system seems to have moved over to first base, and if the Birds could aquire an additional outfielder of Upton’s caliber, it would probably send Chris Davis back to first full time.
For those who suggest that the O’s can’t afford to send away any more prospects, I certainly hear your voices. And there’s a slight part of me that agrees with you. However when you have the opportunity to make it to the post season, you have to do what you can do complete the job. Furthermore as I said, August trades normally cost clubs much less in terms of prospects. And that does make a difference.
For all intents and purposes, the trade season does end after August 31st. However there’s even a proviso on that as well. Teams can still make trades through waivers in September, although it doesn’t happen often. Any player that’s traded in September is inelligible to play on a post season roster. So if you think you can find a guy that will help you physically make it to the post season, you can make a trade in September. But if you end up making it, he can’t play once the regular season is over.
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