When Andy MacPhail joined the Baltimore Orioles in the middle of the 2007 season, the Orioles were hoping for a fresh look to turn around the organization. After a little over four years as the team's president of baseball operations, the two sides agreed to a mutual split and the Orioles searched for a new leader.
Now, Dan Duquette is the executive vice president of baseball operations and has been fairly quiet. He has made a few international signings, headed by two lefties from the Nippon Baseball League, Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Yin Chen, a couple trades for depth, such as the deals for Dana Eveland and Taylor Teagarden, and a few minor league free agent signings.
Many fans are clamoring for a big name like Edwin Jackson or Prince Fielder, but if Duquette's first year is anything like MacPhail's, I wouldn't expect a big-name player.
Here is a look back at MacPhail's first offseason and an update on where the players are now.
The Orioles got a little lucky on Miguel Tejada because they traded him just a couple days before Tejada's name appeared on the infamous Mitchell Report. Tejada was the Orioles' offensive leader and his loss created a huge hole at shortstop until J.J. Hardy was acquired in 2011.
Luke Scott was the biggest piece of the Tejada deal. He split time between left field and DH in his time with the Orioles, but was a big power hitter in the middle of the lineup. Scott was named Most Valuable Oriole in 2010, but got hurt in 2011 and most of the year was lost.
He was non-tendered by Dan Duquette and recently signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Matt Albers spent three years with the Orioles and had a 4.60 ERA in that span. Albers struggled with conditioning and spent most of his time in the bullpen. Albers was also non-tendered and then spent 2011 as an effective reliever for the Boston Red Sox.
Troy Patton came to the Orioles and got hurt, but worked his way into the bullpen for parts of 2011. He'll have his work cut out for him if he wants to make the 2012 team.
Dennis Sarfate spent parts of two seasons in the Orioles bullpen. After 2009, he never made it back to the majors. Mike Costanzo never made the majors and, at 28, he is now trying to make the Reds.
People like to go with what they know, and Andy MacPhail and Dan Duquette have done both. Duquette signed Matt Antonelli, from his native New England, and MacPhail acquired as many former Cubs as he could. Like Antonelli, Montanez was a former first-round pick that had never burst through in the majors.
Montanez's career highlight was a home run in his first at-bat, but he has never panned out. Montanez spent a year between the minors and the Cubs in 2011 and signed a minor league contract with the Phillies for 2012.
Lance Cormier was just another body in the horrible Oriole bullpen of 2008, but still made a bit of an impact. Cormier had a 4.02 ERA in 71.2 innings for the Orioles before leaving for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009.
Cormier pitched pretty well in two seasons for Tampa and then played for the Dodgers for a short time before returning to Tampa in the middle of 2011.
Cormier was one of a bunch of forgettable relievers in MacPhail's time, but he did well enough and didn't cost much. One of the Orioles' recent minor league free agent pitchers could be the next Cormier.
It seems like a joke now, but the Orioles had one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2007 with Erik Bedard. Had he finished the season, he would have likely led the majors in strikeouts and could have made a strong case for the AL Cy Young.
Having already traded the Orioles' best hitter, MacPhail traded the Orioles' best pitcher for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio and Tony Butler. Bedard had two years left of arbitration when dealt and struggled with injuries both years. He signed one-year deals in each of the next two seasons to return to Seattle, but was still fragile and was traded to Boston at the trade deadline. Bedard signed with Pittsburgh for 2012.
Adam Jones was a top prospect in the Seattle system and has become the Orioles' best young player. Jones was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 2009 and has blossomed since then. Jones still has trouble getting on base, but is a legitimate five-tool player. He has drawn significant trade interest and could become Dan Duquette's first big trade piece.
George Sherrill became the Orioles' closer and immediately became a fan favorite for his perfectly flat brim on his hat. He made the All-Star team in 2008 for the Orioles and was eventually traded for Josh Bell and Steve Johnson. Sherrill recently signed a deal to return to the Mariners in 2012.
Chris Tillman was the top pitching prospect for the Mariners and became the top pitching prospect in Baltimore. He has failed to live up to expectations so far, but only turns 24 in April, so he still could pan out.
Kam Mickolio pitched a little for the Orioles, but made the biggest impact as a part of the deal that sent Mark Reynolds to Baltimore. Tony Butler never made an impact for the Orioles and was most recently in Seattle's farm system again.
One of MacPhail's first moves was trading Trachsel to the Cubs for Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry. Just a few months later, MacPhail re-signed Trachsel as a minor league free agent with an invite to Spring Training.
Trachsel spent two months on the 40-man roster before being released and having his career end. Dan Duquette's comparable signing could be Armando Galarraga. Galarraga has not yet signed, but could compete for the rotation in 2012.