Baltimore Orioles

Orioles remain hopeful of additions at halfway point of winter meetings

NATIONAL HARBOR — At the midway point of this year's winter meetings, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette insisted Tuesday that the team wasn't closing up shop amid a flurry of high-priced signings and big-ticket trades.

"We're still active, and we're working our way through the market," Duquette said at the Gaylord National Resort outside of Washington, D.C. "We're talking to a number of catchers, we're talking to a number of outfielders. Are we going to get a deal? I don't know.


"We had a couple trade discussions today that were interesting. They might bear fruit. … You never know when they'll come together. Once a piece in another market falls, some of these trade possibilities fall."

There was not, however, much change in the priorities or progress toward filling them. Duquette said things remained "a fluid conversation" with free-agent slugger Mark Trumbo. On his desire to replace Trumbo's power bat in the lineup with a designated hitter-type like Chris Carter, Duquette said they have enough hitters.


"I'd rather see us add some outfielders," he said.

At this point, it seems more likely that adding the right fielder they covet and the catcher they need to pair with Caleb Joseph will happen in a trade if it happens before the meetings wrap up with the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning.

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Duquette said the hitting market has slowed, with some of the top players bogged down by onerous draft pick penalties because they rejected their previous team's qualifying offer, and prices are too high for many teams' likings now. All it takes is one team to start a chain reaction that gets players signed, but don't look at the Orioles to start that chain as of Tuesday.

"I wasn't ready for the prices," Duquette said. "Particularly in a couple of markets. Extra outfielders? That market went up a lot. … I think that that's going to have an impact on the trade market, yeah.

"But usually, there's more pitching available in the free agent market. This year, there's not a lot of pitching, so the clubs are spending their money on other areas of their ballclub. I'm not convinced the value is there in that market."

Around the horn

Duquette reiterated that the team was getting interest on its relievers because it has been a strength, and he intends to keep it that way. … The team continued preparations Tuesday for the Rule 5 draft.