The calm before the storm
Welcome to baseball’s Winter Meetings where the Hot Stove season usually starts to heat up (and hopefully the Dallas weather will along with it).
I wrote earlier today about what’s on the horizon over the four-day meetings, and you can read the details — as well as give your input on what you would do to upgrade the Orioles– here.
I had some flight issues today and wasn’t able to touch down in Texas in time for the pre-meetings media session with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. But MLB.com’s Detroit Tigers reporter Jason Beck was kind enough to sit in and relay the info, which I have below.
Also, in case you missed it earlier, the Orioles announced two front-office hires today in special assistant Lee Thomas and Fred Ferreria, who will serve as executive director of international recruiting. You can read more on those hires here.
While it’s no secret the Orioles need pitching, it didn’t stop Manny Ramirez’s name from coming up. Duquette, who signed Ramirez in Boston, laughed when posed the question about being interested in the free-agent slugger, who has plans to come out of retirement.
“Manny’s always interesting and he’s never predictable,” Duquette said. “But I don’t know too much about the mechanics of what we would have to do or if we could do it. But Manny’s always a lot of fun to be around, and he’s very entertaining.
Duquette said they’ve been in touch with a couple of teams on Sunday on the trade front, which is where they are expected to be the most active in Dallas.
Asked if the Orioles would bite on a veteran designated-hitter, not just Manny, Duquette deferred to Showalter.
“Depends on who the player is,” Showalter said. “You’re always open to all those things. I don’t think we’re in a position to not examine everything, see what might be a fit. You’d like to be able to move some guys in and out of that role, but if the right guy presented himself, that’s not a problem.”
So what does Duquette want to get done here in Dallas?
“We’d like to support our pitching staff, and then we’d also like to add a bat in the outfield and add some depth to our roster,” he said. “I don’t know how quickly this market’s going to develop. I have a feeling that some of these signings are going to go on beyond the winter meetings. But we’re looking forward to the hunt of the week. But I don’t want people to be disappointed if we don’t come home, because there’s going to be other opportunities at the end of the week, after the week is over. But we have our shopping list. We’re also mindful to upgrade our defense.”