Duquette 'not ruling out' Fielder, but ...

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette was on Jim Bowden’s satellite radio show today and seemed to steer the conversation away from free agent first baseman Prince Fielder, but he said in a brief telephone interview this afternoon that he has “not ruled out any free agents.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s ruling in Fielder, who is clearly too expensive at this point in the process. The Orioles did make a seven-year, $140 million bid for Mark Teixeira a few years ago, but that was for a player who grew up in the Baltimore area and had no physical question marks. Fielder hopes to command much more than that, but there are fair questions about his long-term durability and little reason to think owner Peter Angelos would lay out that kind of money for anyone.

Duquette told Bowden that the club’s focus remains on upgrading the pitching staff. If you want to try and connect the dots, that might mean that the Orioles are more interested in someone like Edwin Jackson (see Dan Connolly’s previous post), but Duquette would not comment to The Sun today about that possibility.

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