Duquette on Winter Meetings: I believe we’ll able to do some good here

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette held court briefly with reporters today, on the eve of the start of baseball’s Winter Meetings. He reiterated that the organization’s top priority remains adding a middle-of-the-order bat, an acquisition which will most likely come though a trade.

“Our agenda at the Winter Meetings is to try to find a hitter,” Duquette said. “We’ll keep working on that. It’s a possibility that may happen in the trade market.”

What would the Orioles part with in return?

“We also have more qualified Major League pitchers than we have slots,” said Duquette, who also indicated top prospects Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy could be in Baltimore at some point next season. “All those things are good things, right? So, we have a surplus as perceived by other teams that we can make a trade that could help us in other areas.

“I believe we’ll be able to do some good here.”

The Orioles still have interest in resigning free agents Joe Saunders and Nate McLouth and have not gotten word about whether designated hitter Jim Thome will continue his baseball career.

Duquette seemed content with the organization’s additions in terms of speed and defense and it doesn’t look like they’ll add anyone else at this point.

“The player we added, (Yamaico) Navarro, is a pretty good ballplayer, and if you take a look at what he did at Triple-A when he went back to Indianapolis, he has the offensive capability to be an everyday ballplayer in the big leagues,” Duquette said. “It just hasn’t translated so far with his production in the big leagues, but he’s had less than 200 at-bats. He does have the tools and capabilities to be an everyday ballplayer. And he’s versatile to where he can play a number of different positions. So, it’ll be interesting to see where that comes out. But I think we have plenty of candidates for second base.”

The Orioles –who non-tendered first baseman Mark Reynolds and infielder Omar Quintanilla — will also take a close look at other clubs non-tenders.

Manager Buck Showalter, who was hanging out as well, said that he has narrowed the third base coaching job to “two or three” candidates and could have a final decision before the meetings end in Nashville.

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