Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, newly locked in along with manager Buck Showalter until 2018, said Thursday that he has fielded "umpteen" trade proposals from other teams desiring the Orioles' top young players.
But this offseason, the Orioles' leadership has decided that, in order to build a winning club long term, they wouldn't entertain any deals involving top young talent such as third baseman Manny Machado and right-hander Dylan Bundy.
Orioles ownership representative Louis Angelos, who announced contract extensions for Duquette and Showalter on Tuesday Thursday, applauded the duo's commitment to avoid making a move this offseason that might jeopardize the future.
The organization considered a trade for National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey this offseason — Dickey was eventually dealt to the Blue Jays — but Angelos, the son of managing partner Peter Angelos, said while the deal was tempting, he believed in Duquette's vision to build a winner from within.
"I think Orioles fans know the game really well and they want sustained winning and they want to see the guys some through the system," Louis Angelos said. "You can get away from that and be distracted by the sort of tantalizing free agent or a trade possibility in Dickey's case, for example. That was a long and considered dialogue that went on. But Dan has his vision and its right in sync with Buck's vision. When you extend them both to 2018, I think what that promotes is that it's not about the immediate. It's not about a two-year or three-year extension, that you've got to win now to keep this going. We've got to do the right things to have winning over a 10-year period or over a 20-year period."
The core of the Orioles' lineup remains intact, but the Orioles haven't been able to acquire a middle-of-the-order power bat, which was an offseason, priority. But Duquette says he is comfortable with the decision to say no to some proposed trades.
"We have addressed the areas of need that we identified," he said. "Did we find a middle of the lineup bat? No, we didn't. We had some opportunities to trade for middle of the lineup bats, but we would have had to trade some darn good pitching to do that, and I didn't think it was the right thing to recommend to the Orioles at this time of year. I'd much rather go into spring training with the pitching depth."
Angelos said that his father has given Duquette and Showalter the OK to pursue free agents and trades, but both agreed that the organization was best served by not making a move. Angelos said he's heard criticism that the team hasn't made a big move, but added that he trusts in Duquette and Showalter's philosophy.
"I think the notion that it hasn't been an eventful offseason in many ways should be interpreted as good because we're not sacrificing draft picks," Angelos said. "That's coming right from those guys. I know [Peter] Angelos has said, 'You guys want to do it, let's go for it. What do you want to do?' Their response has constantly been, again with respect to Dickey, tough call, but we're going to stay with the program and we're going to keep bringing our guys up. I think it's going to pay dividends over the long term."