Orioles thoughts and observations on Dan Duquette, arbitration and Daniel Rodriguez

As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette's future with the organization remains in question, he and manager Buck Showalter will spend the weekend on the offseason banquet circuit.

Showalter will attend the Baseball Writers' Association of America awards dinner Saturday night in New York, where Showalter will be presented with his American League Manager of the Year award.


On Sunday night, Duquette is slated to be in Chicago to attend an awards banquet for the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago. He will receive the organization's Major League Executive of the Year award.

Duquette has two more appearances scheduled for the next week. He is still set to attend short-season Single-A Aberdeen's annual hot-stove dinner Thursday. That event will include a question-and-answer session, the first time fans will be able to ask Duquette about his future.


Then comes next Saturday, when Duquette will be under a bigger spotlight at the Orioles' annual FanFest event. Duquette repeatedly has declined to comment on his status with the organization and the Toronto Blue Jays, most recently at an awards banquet at the BBWAA's Boston chapter Thursday that both he and Showalter attended.

But unless the situation is resolved, Duquette's FanFest Q&A session should be the day's biggest attraction. The sense is that the Orioles would like clarity about his future by then.

It has become clear in recent days that the Orioles have become more open to allowing Duquette out of his contract, which runs through 2018. Still, they are seeking a worthwhile compensation package, and the organization is going through the Blue Jays' farm system deliberately.

Expect something to happen by FanFest. While the Orioles haven't made next Saturday a deadline of any kind, they know any doubt over Duquette's position would add awkwardness to the offseason's feel-good event.

-- It has been a week since the Orioles exchanged salary figures with their six remaining arbitration-eligible players, but each case remains unresolved.

The Orioles exchanged figures with right-hander Bud Norris, infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, closer Zach Britton, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and infielder Ryan Flaherty.

The team still is negotiating with those players and remains optimistic that some cases will be resolved before they head to arbitration.

-- The Orioles traded for minor league left-hander Daniel Rodriguez on Friday, acquiring the 30-year-old from the Atlanta Braves for cash.


Rodriguez didn't pitch well in Triple-A last season, going 5-16 with a 5.04 ERA with the Braves' Triple-A affiliate. Rodriguez pitched seven years in Mexico for Saltillo before he drew notice of big league teams. The Orioles liked him after a 2012 winter league season in which he was 11-5 with a 2.54 ERA, but were unable to sign him.

He seemed to reinvent himself as a reliever this winter in Mexico, going 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA with 19 strikeouts and four walks in 15 1/3 relief innings with Culiacan. The Orioles believe he has a curveball that could get big league hitters out. He will first report to minor league camp and likely open the season at Triple-A Norfolk.

-- Finally, individual-game tickets for Orioles home spring training games go on sale this morning at 10. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at 877-222-2802, online at and at the Ed Smith Stadium left-field box office in Sarasota.

Fans interested in spring training season ticket or group ticket packages or those seeking more information on spring training tickets can call the Orioles spring training office at 941-893-6300.

The club is recommending purchasing tickets online or by phone.