In an appearance today on Baltimore's WBAL Radio, club executive VP Dan Duquette indicated that he was not troubled by failing to land closer Fernando Rodney, saying that the Mariners "liked him a little bit more than us." (Links via Twitter, courtesy of MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko.) Looking ahead, Duquette discussed some other moves the club hopes to make before the start of the season, saying that he hopes to reach an extension with shortstop J.J. Hardy and remains confident that the club will add a veteran starter to the rotation.
Regarding the veteran Hardy, Duquette said that the sides were "starting to work on" a new deal and hoped to put pen to paper before Opening Day. It had been reported previously that extension negotiations were expected to take place, as Hardy is entering the last year of his three-year, $22.25MM pact. The 31-year-old has been a sturdy performer for the Orioles, with excellent defense and a power bat leading to 11.2 rWAR and 10.3 fWAR over his three years in Baltimore. An extension for Hardy would likely mean that star youngster Manny Machado will remain at third for the foreseeable future.
On the starting pitching front, Baltimore has long been rumored to be amongst the clubs seeking to draw from the remaining pool of free agent rotation options. Though Duquette expressed confidence that the O's would indeed add a veteran arm, he noted that four or five other teams were interested in the same players. Most recently, Baltimore has been tabbed as one of the most likely landing spots for Bronson Arroyo as well as A.J. Burnett.