Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette swung three deals in July before the non-waiver deadline, and another one Aug. 31 before the deadline to set postseason rosters.
Did you have a favorite? One that brought instant regret - like that trip through the Taco Bell drive-thru at 2 a.m., or that round of drinks for the women at the other end of the bar at 2 a.m.?
Nothing good happens after 2 a.m., right?
Keep in mind that you usually can’t judge a trade until a few years pass. Feldman might turn into a rental if the Orioles can’t re-sign him. We don’t know whether Clevenger will win the backup job next spring. We don’t know whether Arrieta will develop into an ace in Chicago - or at least a serviceable starter - and whether Strop will be an effective set-up man or closer.
Considering how Strop was out of options and couldn’t be trusted in tight situations, it’s hard to second-guess the Orioles’ decision to move him this summer. He may flourish in the National League Central, but he was completely lost in the American League East.
Arrieta was the classic change-of-scenery guy. The Orioles gave him plenty of chances and he was destined to ride the Triple-A shuttle. His value was plummeting. Holding onto him didn’t figure to benefit either side.
Feldman went 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 15 starts with the Orioles, including their first complete game since the Reagan administration (or so it seemed). He allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight consecutive starts before the Red Sox battered him for eight runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings on Sept. 27.
The Orioles want to hold onto Feldman, who has long been a favorite of manager Buck Showalter, but it’s not entirely up to them. Though he’d like to remain in the organization, he’s not likely to pass up a lucrative offer from another team.
Feldman is one of the more appealing options in a weak market. Think top-shelf vodka in an aisle full of flavored Smirnoffs. The Orioles may not be willing to go three years for him, which would likely change his address.
Clevenger went 4-for-15 with a double and two RBIs in four games with the Orioles. Small sample size. They always place a heavy emphasis on defense and game-calling with their backup catchers, but if Matt Wieters is going to get the proper rest, the understudy needs to bat higher than his weight.
Arrieta went 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in nine games with the Cubs, with 34 hits, 24 walks and 37 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings. Strop went 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA and one save in 37 games, with 22 hits, 11 walks and 42 strikeouts in 35 innings.
The Orioles gladly would have taken those numbers. Arrieta posted a 7.23 ERA in five starts before the trade. Strop was 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in 29 games, with 15 walks and 24 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.
Strop couldn’t find the plate or his confidence before changing leagues. One of the Orioles’ biggest mistakes of 2013 was rushing him back from the disabled list rather than sending him on an injury-rehab assignment and basically stashing him in the minors. They had an out and didn’t take it.
The Orioles are hoping that Arrieta and Strop thrive in Chicago, which would make the Cubs more willing to deal with them in the future. This may surprise some folks, but teams usually want a trade to benefit both sides. Otherwise, calls will start going unreturned.
It probably took years, or at least a change in front office personnel, for the Orioles to consider another deal with the Astros after the Glenn Davis nightmare. But the Astros owed them after the Mike Cuellar-Curt Blefary trade in ‘68 and the Lee May-Enos Cabell trade in ‘74.
What goes around ...
I liked the addition of Feldman, even if he’s not a top-of-the-rotation starter, and would most certainly endorse re-signing him. And it doesn’t matter what happens to Arrieta and Strop in the Windy City.
The only potential argument for me is whether the Orioles could have gotten more in return for the two right-handers. But again, their value was down. The time to move Arrieta was the previous summer.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” today from 11 a.m.-noon on MASN.