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Orioles still looking to close on leads as winter meetings continue

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette had yet to make an acquisition as of Wednesday evening, but he said it is not from of a lack of trying.

Duquette said that the Orioles are holding active discussions on both the free-agent and trade fronts and he hopes to close on leads before the club leaves Florida on Thursday.

“You always like to get something done at the meetings because there’s an intense focus on your team so we’re going to try to get something done,” Duquette said. “Sometimes you can lay the groundwork and make a deal a day or two after and that would be good. But we’d definitely like to get something done this week.”

Duquette said the club has made offers to position players and both starting pitchers and closers following two days of very little movement.   

“We met with a couple of teams and we talked to several agents,” Duquette said. “We made a few offers on our pitching front. We haven’t been to close any deals on the pitching but hopefully we’ll be something done here in the next day or so. … We have made offers to hitters. We were active on a couple of trade fronts and that didn’t bear any fruit but we’re still working.”

It appears that if the Orioles are going to make a move here, it will likely be by signing a free agent.

“The market’s coming into clear focus on the trades and the signings,” Duquette said. “You’ll see a few trades [around the game] between now and when we leave and I think you’ll see a few more over the weekend. This is the time of the year when players are choosing their clubs. And clubs are staffing their teams. We should be able to add a few players by the end of the week.”

Also:

-- After agent Scott Boras said earlier in the day that he is open to engaging the Orioles in extension talks for Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, Duquette said that he will have the opportunity have those discussions next month.

“We’ve addressed that with Scott the last two years in spring training and it hasn’t worked out,” Duquette said. “We’ll have another opportunity to talk about the contracts for the players in the arbitration process and that will come sometime in January. Generally during the arbitration process we will explore if there’s common ground for a long-term relationship, so that’s the more appropriate time to do that.”

-- Duquette also said that possible extension talks with shortstop J.J. Hardy are “under consideration." This season Hardy will play the final year of a three-year, $22.25-millon extension he signed in July of 2011.

“That’s under consideration by the team,” Duquette said. “J.J.’s had a couple really good years with the team and I think the interest is mutual between he and the Orioles in extending that relationship.”

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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