Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette touched on a variety of topics during Monday's season-ending news conference at Camden Yards.
Duquette emphasized the club's need to improve its starting pitching, talked about retaining the team's existing free agents (including Chris Davis), where the payroll stands and other offseason-related matters.
Here are some of Duquette's leftover quotes from Monday:
On the need to upgrade the starting pitching:
"We gave up 100 more runs so our offseason we need to focus on a stronger pitching staff. I know we've got plenty of free agents to sign, but any informed analysis of a team, is you've got to have a good pitching staff. That's where it starts and that's where we're going to put our focus in the offseason."
On whether the club has financial resources to sign a top starting pitcher:
"If we are going to improve our pitching staff we're gonna have to add to our pitching staff. You'd love to have a top of the rotation starter. We're gonna have to develop players we have and we could look at the trade market. So do we have the resources to have a good pitching staff? Yes.
On retaining free agents:
"We like those players on our team, whether we can have them next year or not, we're gonna try to sign them. I can tell you this, we'll have a good team when we start the season. I don't know exactly who will be on it."
On having funds to sign Davis:
"I would hope so. The idea is to have a competitive team that's also accessible and affordable to the fans. We're going to fund a payroll that allows us to field the best team that we can field and then to have the best experience for our fans in our market. We've done that effectively for a couple years."
On immediate focus of offseason:
"We've been working on a trade target. We've been working on a free agent target list. We've been working on a minor league free agent list, a 20b list, an international scouting free agent list. So, we're prepared. We're ready to go and I think we have a pretty good shopping list. I think we know where the weaknesses are on our current ballclub and what we need to strengthen for the coming season. And so we'll try to systematically fill each of those holes as we get ready to go into the season."
On where the payroll stands:
"We're about 14th, sometimes, 13th in terms of overall payroll. The size of our metro market and the size of our TV market are well below that in terms of the amount of people that are available to watch the Orioles. So we already field a very competitive payroll to the extent that our resources go into the market, we put that back into the baseball operation, we put that into scouting, we put that into the payroll. So to the extent that there is additional revenues there, the payroll will go up.
On adding better on-base players next year:
"We need to upgrade our on-base capability. That's where it starts. You have to get 'em on before you get 'em over, before you get 'em in. And a lot of that comes at the hiring level."
On gauging the free-agent market:
"I hope it goes like we sign good players and they do a good job for us next year, but we'll have to wait and see. The market develops pretty quickly and I think it will develop pretty quickly this year."