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Moves should help Birds reach playoffs

Don't look at the Orioles' last-minute move at the trade deadline as the only splash they made.
In fact, if Buck Showalter can manage his pitching staff like he did down the stretch in 2012, it's likely Baltimore makes a second postseason appearance.
Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop in early July seems to have worked. And Bud Norris, the final piece in a trade with Houston, could wind up being a better fit than Jason Hammel, who hasn't been the same since his 2012 knee injury.
Picking up reliever Francisco Rodriguez seems to be the head-scratcher, but it makes some sense.
We're into August now. No telling what kind of injuries the Orioles will face.
Baltimore grabbed K-Rod from Milwaukee in exchange for infielder Nicky Delmonico, a sixth-round pick in 2011 who was regarded as a top prospect, but there are 1,000 players like Delmonico toiling away in the minors who become trade chips.
The draft is a roll of the dice, and you have to give something to get something.
The Orioles want fresh arms for the late innings. These games could very well determine their playoff chances.
Doesn't hurt to have consistent starters, too, and the Orioles snagged a pair in Feldman and Norris.
Yes, the Astros got outfielder LJ Hoes, 23, and Josh Hader, 19, two more young prospects who carried promise for the future. But it's clear the Orioles see their window to win as now, and they're competing in the toughest division in baseball.
Norris will have to prove he can win in Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. But he's set to be in Baltimore's rotation for a few seasons; there's no proof that either Hoes or Hader will make progress with Houston.
Again, giving up on young minor-league players is difficult to swallow for some fans, particularly those who envision a stocked farm system for years to come. Now, publications shuffle the rankings with Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Eduardo Rodriguez, and others.
Norris, 28, and Feldman, 30, should be reliable enough to be rotation mainstays. As for K-Rod, he's a rental, but he knows how to pitch in the postseason. And getting there, after all, is the goal.

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