By Dan Connolly
8:00 AM EST, December 8, 2012
Sorry if it is chilly in the bar here this weekend. All the windows are open.
I’m just trying to fill my lungs with oxygen after spending all week in the recycled air of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. So grab a bar stool and a parka.
Anyway, baseball’s winter meetings came and went, and all you have to show for it is a crazy-haired left fielder and a minor league pitcher with a major league name.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said he wanted to get an outfielder. And he did, re-signing the popular Nate McLouth to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $2 million (with the potential to make $500,000 more).
Duquette also wanted to improve his pitching depth, and he did that by selecting left-handed starter T.J. McFarland (sounds like a pitcher in a novel) in the Rule 5 draft from the Cleveland Indians’ organization. Duquette said the 23-year-old, who won 16 games last year at two minor league stops, would compete this spring for a rotation spot – though it’s a crowded field.
Duquette was also looking for a power bat that could play first base, and he signed Conor Jackson, a 30-year-old journeyman to a minor league deal. Jackson has hit some in the past, but he is another reclamation project, not a slam dunk for the majors.
When asked about his moves after the winter meetings, Duquette said he is content with his team right now. He loves the offensive nucleus of Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and company and he feels the pitching staff is deep and talented.
That’s not to say he won’t make more moves before spring training. If last year was any indication, Duquette will be busy.
What I want to know is whether you were disappointed by the Orioles’ relative inactivity in Nashville. Or are you giving Duquette the benefit of the doubt considering what he accomplished in 2012?
Go ahead and grade the Orioles’ offseason so far (understanding that, ultimately, it is still incomplete).
Daily Think Special: How would you grade the Orioles’ offseason up to this point?
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