O’Dowd & Duquette on the trade, Manny, etc.

I’l have a full version of the Orioles’-Rockies’ trade up later on Orioles.com. (You can read the nuts and bolts here), but wanted to pass along a few thoughts from the decision-makers of both organizations…

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette

[on the move]

“We think this is a good thing to help our team and help our club win because we are essentially replacing Jeremy’s innings in the rotation with Jason Hammel’s, and we think the addition of Matt Lindstrom, who has got a power fastball, strengthens our bullpen overall.

It gives the Orioles an option beyond 2012. Based on Jason’s service time, he’d be eligible to come back with our ballclub for 2013, and also Matt Lindstrom has an option in his contract for the team to exercise in 2013.” (Guthrie will be a free agent at the end of 2012.)

[on the timing of the trade with Guthrie’s arbitration hearing set for today before he agreed to a one-year deal with Colorado]

“I can’t really speculate on that. I don’t think settling on an arb figure was an option unless we went to a hearing, the way this was settled I thought this was good for both parties.”

[Hammels assured a spot in camp?]

“I’m looking at Jason being able to give us some dependable innings, and of course that will ultimately be decided by Buck [Showalter] and the coaching staff. But certainly Jason gives us experience as a solid Major League starter.

What I really like about both Jason and Matt is they have a walk-strikeout ratios approaching 1 to 3. …with the addition of these two pitchers and also [Wei-yin] Chen and [Tsuyoshi]Wada, you will see that we are adding to the pitching staff with pitchers that have good command and quality stuff, as evidenced by the low walks and high strikeouts.”

[on the Lindstrom addition]

“I like a power arm at the end of the game, and we have a couple for Buck in Jim Johnson and Matt Lindstrom. I like the manager having that strength in the bullpen, so if we have a lead we can lock down the lead late in the game.

I am encouraged by adding Matt Lindstrom because of his capabilities to convert on saves. He has the experience as both a closing pitcher, getting the last three outs, and also as a setup man pitching the seventh and eighth inning and I just think that strengthens our ballclub.”

[Duquette declined to say the team was considering any other players in the trade, but he did shoot down the possibility of the team ever getting top prospects for Guthrie.]

“We are trying to build a team by strengthening our pitching and I believe we’ve done that by the pitchers we added…I think our roster composition is stronger now because we’ve been adding. This is the first major trade, but again I believe we’ve added a starter back and gotten a dependable bullpen arm. Our goal is to strengthen our pitching staff and make us a little more competitive.”

[On the possibility of reacquiring former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara from Texas]

“We would still like to strengthen our bullpen between now and Spring Training.”

[On the Manny Ramirez rumors, Duquette said the team has had “exploratory talks”]

“We are still considering the composition of this club, and some of the challenges of integrating a player like Manny into our ballclub and market.”

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd

[on his search for a veteran at the top of the rotation] The right kind of guy, the list was pretty small. We had interest in Jeremy for a while.

“We gave up two players that were part of this season and moving forward for us, but you have to trade something to get something. [Guthrie] pitched in a tough division. We know he’s an outstanding competitor as well as a great athlete. We think the change of leagues will help him.”

[on if it was important to have someone like Guthrie who gives you innings given the youth around him?]

“Absolutely, that was part of the thought process.”


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