Baltimore Orioles current general manager Dan Duquette has done a fantastic job in his first season as the Orioles GM. This article, however, is about the Orioles previous GM Andy MacPhail.
Duquette deserves a lot of praise for the job he has done in less than a year as the Orioles GM, but it is MacPhail who constructed a large portion of this current Orioles roster. Don’t believe me? Keep reading, I will show you the evidence.
Before getting into the players MacPhail acquired let’s recognize maybe the biggest achievement of MacPhail’s tenure with the Orioles; MacPhail made owner Peter Angelos stay out of the way! For years Oriole fans were tortured with Angelos’s insistence on making personnel moves. MacPhail would only become apart of the Orioles organization if he was allowed to run the Orioles roster without Angelos butting in. I truly believe this laid the foundation for what fans are witnessing now. A winning team.
MacPhail told Orioles fans he would turn the team around in four seasons. Well, it took five seasons. You’re forgiven, Andy.
If you look at the Orioles’ starting lineup with everyone healthy, six of the Orioles’ starters (seven if you want to count Robert Andino) are players acquired by MacPhail. Matt Wieters and Manny Machado were first round draft picks during MacPail’s watch. Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Mark Reynolds, and J.J. Hardy were all acquired by MacPhail through trades. Remember the Eric Bedard to Seattle Mariners trade? MacPhail got Jones who is now a cornerstone player, Chris Tillman who seems to finally be realizing his potential as a talented starter, and reliever George Sherrill. Sherrill was then traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers where MacPhail acquired Steve Johnson, who is a promising young pitcher helping the Orioles in their September run for the playoffs.
MacPhail also resigned fan favorite Nick Markakis to a long term deal. This wasn’t an easy task considering how bad the team had been during Markakis’s entire career. It doesn’t stop there. MacPhail also acquired a couple of the Orioles key relievers. He got Troy Patton in the Miguel Tejada to Houston Astros deal and Pedro Strop from the Texas Rangers for Mike Gonzalez.
When you look at the rotation, Duquette did a great job of acquiring the Orioles top two starters Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen, but MacPhail brought in the majority of the ”cavalry.” Tillman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta were all brought in under MacPhail’s watch. Sure they haven’t reached their full potential yet, but they have all chipped in to help the 2012 Orioles team. Tillman is starting to finally look like the promising young starter the Orioles hoped he would be, and Matusz has become a reliable bullpen arm.
Really, when you think about, the core of the Orioles team was acquired during MacPhail’s tenure. The current and future of the Orioles is built around MacPhail’s moves. Wieters, Jones, and Machado are arguably all cornerstones of this Orioles franchise. You can thank MacPhail.
You see, MacPhail’s fingerprints are all over the 2012 Orioles. So when you give praise to Showalter and Duquette don’t leave out MacPhail. He deserves it.