Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette joined Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM to discuss his team’s offseason plans. Here’s a partial audio link to the interview, as well as other details from Jim Duquette’s Twitter account (links here). Highlights included…
- Duquette hinted that the Orioles could be moving on from Mark Trumbo, saying “we like some of the other options, some of the shorter-term options on the market that look to be a little bit more cost-effective for the club.” Since Trumbo rejected a qualifying offer, the O’s will receive a first round draft pick if Trumbo signs elsewhere, which is no small consideration for the Orioles given how the qualifying offer system has been altered for future seasons. “The value of that draft pick has been enhanced with the negotiations of the new basic agreement,” Duquette said. “In other words, that’s about the last time you can acquire that level of pick for a compensation free agent.”
- The Orioles still are looking for outfield help as well as pitching depth in the form of “another veteran pitcher.” Duquette didn’t rule out a reunion with Jason Hammel, noting that the O’s liked Hammel and how he performed for Baltimore in the 2012-13 seasons. The Rangers, Yankees, Mariners and Marlins have all been linked to Hammel at different points this offseason.
- Earlier this winter, Duquette commented that Jose Bautista wasn’t an Orioles target due to the long-time Blue Jays slugger’s unpopularity amongst Baltimore fans. Duquette clarified those comments today and while he feels his words “kind of got blown out of proportion,” he didn’t walk them back. “I was trying to make it clear to [Bautista’s] agent that I didn’t want the Orioles in that conversation because I didn’t want the fans being upset that we were out there trying to bring Jose Bautista here after we’d competed against him…for the last 6-7 years,” Duquette said. In my view, this is an unusual public stance for an executive to take, especially since Bautista (as a veteran slugger who could be available at something of a discount price) fits the model of past late-winter Duquette signings.