Duquette Day 2
Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette met with the media again this evening, with a group of men exiting his hotel suite before reporters were allowed in. The meeting was about a potential agreement between Baltimore and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, who play in Japan’s Pacific League. Derrek White, the head international scout for Rakuten, played in Montreal when Duquette was part of that front office and Duquette said the two sides were meeting about having some cooperative agreement and exchange between the two organizations.
I’m not entirely sure what the agreement would involve and it seems the details of that are still being sorted through, but it’s interesting to note. Duquette has made it a point to improve the club’s international efforts and this appears to be another step in that direction.
Here’s some of the highlights and quotes from Duquette as the Orioles head into Day 3 without a move here in Nashville…
*The team met with about a half-dozen agents today, including those representing Joe Saunders and Nate McLouth. Duquette called Saunders talks “preliminary” and said that the club has other plans in the event that they can’t strike a deal with McLouth. Baltimore is pushing to sign an outfielder by the end of the week. The Orioles have not had any discussions with Mark Reynolds’ reps since non-tendering him, as they are going to let the market on him play out a little bit first.
FOXSports.com tweeted McLouth is seeking a one-year deal only, but Duquette wouldn’t confirm or deny the report saying, “I’m not sure how that’s going to shake out.”
“[We met with a] couple free agents, along with Nate McLouth, obviously who we would like to have come back,” Duquette said. “But we want to be prepared in the event that we can’t reach an agreement with Nate. So, we want to make sure that while there are other people on the market that we avail ourselves to the whole market and hopefully we come home with a signed player.
I think Nate liked Baltimore, he played very well there, and we liked him in Baltimore. He did a good job for us when he came up…there’s a natural interest in resigning him to the team.”
Is McLouth –along with Nolan Reimold– Plan A for left field?
“We are going to hopefully come home with a signed player at the end of the week,” Duquette said. “I wouldn’t say that there’s a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. We are going to try to get it done so we have another contributing player for our team.”
*Asked about movement on potential trades, Duquette said the Orioles touched base with five teams on Tuesday, with some of those trade talks continued from the previous day.
“We will have to see where it goes,” Duquette said. “But, they do like our young pitchers. We have gotten considerable interested in a number of our young pitchers.”
Was the interest in the O’s young arms as expected?
“It was a little slow, but yesterday and today it kind of picked up. So, I was heartened by the fact that people do like our pitchers, because we have some good ones and they are young and we can bring them back.”
*As some of the big fish in the free agent market circle around, some second-tier players are cashing in on deals that aren’t exactly team-friendly. Don’t expect the Orioles to get involved in that.
“Adding the pitching to our roster that we added, we put on Zach Clark, we put on [Mike] Belfiore, that was to protect the talent and add players we already had in the system that we thought could help the team,” Duquette said. “Adding Yamaico Navarro and keeping [outfielder] Steve Pearce after we claimed him, those are moves we made so we had those players on our roster so we had certainty that we had them and certainty of the cost.
Those are little things that we did to try to improve our team. Because I don’t really like the mid-level market. Teams pay a lot of money for mediocre talent and it’s not the market we want to be in.”