Another trade deadline has come and gone and the O’s made some minor deals, which has been the trend over the last few seasons.
The difference this year lies in how few targets were on the market, which made teams reach for certain players in order to make a postseason run.
Dan Duquette was able to bolster the roster with the acquisitions of pitcher Wade Miley and the familiar utility man Steve Pearce. Neither player has the sex appeal many fans were looking for, but both are still upgrades in positions of need.
Miley has struggled over the last few seasons, including a flopped season with the Red Sox in 2015. His struggles continued over the course of this year, but he has turned it around as of late, giving up just 11 runs in his last 31.1 innings.
It was still a decent move from Duquette, even though Miley’s numbers aren’t that impressive. The O’s only had to give up pitcher Ariel Miranda, who was never projected to make a big impact in the future. Miranda would have been a future bullpen arm, which the O’s have plenty of.
The other deal Duquette spun right before the deadline ended was bringing back Pearce to Baltimore. Pearce had a resurgence in Tampa Bay this season, with 10 home runs and a .309 batting average.
Pearce fills a need off the bench in a time that the O’s offense has struggled over the last couple of weeks. He’ll provide some power in the middle of the lineup and could provide a spark for the offense.
Duquette was forced to give up catching prospect Jonah Heim, a fourth-round pick in 2013. The O’s probably didn’t like to lose Heim, but he was also blocked by Chance Sisco and that made it easier to move him.
So why are the deals still successful for the O’s?
The team didn’t overpay for rental players or give up top prospects for overvalued players. For example, the Rangers traded for outfielder Carlos Beltran in exchange for three pitching prospects: Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson and Nick Green.
Tate was the Rangers’ fourth-best prospect and was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft. Swanson and Green are lower-end prospects that are in Single-A. It was quite the haul to give up for a 39-year-old outfielder.
Both Hill and Reddick are rental players, as they hit free agency the next season. All three prospects were highly rated in the Dodgers’ system and could come back to haunt the team if they don’t make a big postseason run.
Both deals illustrate just how overvalued players were on a shallow market and also how depleted the O’s farm system is. They didn’t have the pieces to pull off those types of trades and Duquette was smart to not even think about creating a huge package for them.
It wasn’t an impressive deadline, but the team still improved.