NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations, took some time away from the organization’s affiliates’ reception to talk to reporters tonight at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The winter meetings don’t start in earnest until Monday.
Here are some of his quotes on specific Orioles’ topics.
Duquette on the club’s goal this week at the annual winter meetings:
“Our agenda at the winter meetings, of course, is to try to find a hitter. We are going to keep working on that. There’s a possibility that might happen on the trade market. And then we’ll also prepare for the (Rule 5) draft. We may be active in the draft this year. We had some success with it last year with (Ryan) Flaherty, who had a good year. … We’ll look to sign some other players to complement our team.”
If you want some optimism for this week, here is Duquette’s pithy money quote on potentially making a trade: “I believe we’ll be able to do some good here.”
Duquette said the Orioles are targeting specific players to add as a power bat, and not as worried about what position they might play: “It really depends on the bat. I know that we have some flexibility in some other areas.”
The decision not to tender first baseman Mark Reynolds a contract makes it more imperative to add another home run hitter, Duquette said.
“We have some other players that we can take a look at in the spring but we don’t have the established home run hitter on the team that Reynolds was, so that’s right.”
Some more names may have been added to the Orioles wish list after other teams non-tendered players on Friday night. But Duquette’s not going to detail who may interest him.
“There are some more players available on the market that were non-tendered. So we’ll take a look at that also. … That question would be answered by who we might be able to get, right? It’s really dependent upon the quality of hitter we might add.”
Pitching will always be a target area, but the Orioles may have a surplus to deal from this year.
“We have more depth through our pitching staff, which is a good thing, right? And we have a number of young pitchers on the horizon, in Gausman and Bundy, that could come up during the year and help us. We also have more qualified major league starting pitchers than we have slots. … So if we have a surplus as perceived by other teams than we could make a trade that could help us in another area.”
Here’s Duquette on still having interest in Orioles’ free agents Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders:
“We like both of those guys. They both did a good job for us.
”Duquette said he has had no contact with designated hitter Jim Thome or his representation