Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette and skipper Buck Showalter addressed the media together yesterday, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports. The pair is set to continue on for 2016, with Showalter explaining that both are committed to putting the club back in contention after a somewhat disappointing year.
Here are some more highlights;
- Duquette talked about the club’s needs heading into the offseason, saying that “we need to focus on a stronger pitching staff.” As for whether the club can afford to upgrade its rotation and bring back slugger Chris Davis, he made no promises but left open the possibility: “I don’t know what the final market’s gonna be for Chris Davis, but having looked at some of the other contracts, it’s gonna be a lot of money. And we’re gonna have to weigh the competitiveness of the team and the need of the team to staff a strong pitching staff. I don’t know where the money’s going to end up, but we have enough resources in this market to field a competitive team and our aim is to do that again in ’16.”
- Baltimore is assessing whether to make qualifying offers to Davis, Wei-Yin Chen, and Matt Wieters, per the report. “The qualifying offer is under consideration for all those players,” Duquette said. “The club has to decide that by the end of the World Series, so we’re currently working on that.” It still seems probable that all three will be recipients, though the backstop Wieters seems most likely to avoid the QO.
- In terms of pursuing offensive additions, Duquette said the focus would be in acquiring players with good on-base skills.
- While the Orioles would love to extend third baseman Manny Machado, Duquette says that pursuing a new deal with him is not atop the organization’s priority list, as Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. “It is heartening that Manny wants to play here, we’ve got him for three more years and that’s something we can consider in the offseason but I’ve got to tell you, we got a lot more work to do,” Duquette said. “We’ve got a lot more work to do and the fact that Manny’s gonna be here for the next three years under his current arrangement, doesn’t mean that’s a back-burner item, but we have a lot more urgent things to look at.”
- Duquette also noted that he has had discussions with Machado’s reps in the past, but said that they “didn’t quite get to a deal.” It was wise of the O’s to try, because Machado’s combination of performance and age figure to make him exceedingly expensive to lock up, even after accounting for his somewhat worrying injury history.
- Meanwhile, Duquette said that highly-regarded pitching prospect Hunter Harvey will not require surgery, at least for the time being. “The doctors are recommending based upon the healing they’ve seen, they’re recommending he continue to pitch,” said the club’s top baseball decisionmaker. “If he does throw four to six weeks from now and still has an issue, we can do the surgery then. But we’ve sent him to see several doctors and they’re all recommending he continue to throw.”