September 21, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette in the dugout prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles face a steep road to contention in the AL East


Baltimore Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette made a bevy of trades this summer, yet his team fell short of a playoff spot.

In making those trades, Duquette “traded off a lot of inventory,” according to Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore. In just under two months, the O’s made four different trades that resulted in six players being dealt away to other clubs.

Baltimore acquired starting pitcher Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger from the Chicago Cubs prior to the Trade Deadline, reliever Francisco Rodriguez from Milwaukee, starting pitcher Bud Norris from Houston and Seattle outfielder Michael Morse.

In making those trades, the team lost “pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop (Feldman, Clevenger), third baseman Nick Delmonico (Rodriguez), outfielder L.J. Hoes and minor league pitcher Josh Hader (Norris) and outfielder Xavier Avery (Morse),” according to Dubroff.

The team has struggled in the latter rounds of the draft of late, says Dubroff, and this could play a major role in the team’s success in coming years.

No one from the Orioles’ 2009 draft has yet to make the majors, but first-rounder Matt Hobgood made steps this year, and 50th round pitcher Tim Berry is currently in the Arizona Fall League.

 Duquette came to Baltimore in hopes of rebuilding a beleaguered minor league system, but after last year’s push to make the postseason behind a monster year from first baseman Chris Davis, the reserves are low – especially for a team rumored to be in the market for a power bat  and/or a left fielder and a designated hitter this winter.
Rebuilding the O’s system won’t just benefit the team in terms of young talent coming up to take the field in Baltimore. It also offers the Orioles’ front office a chance to be enticing trade partners with the big players in the offseason.

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