Roberts, Gonzalez, Hendrickson & offseason rumblings
There was a lot going on today with the Orioles having a press conference this morning to officially announce the contract extensions through 2018 for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter. (More on that is here.)
There was also some offseason talk related to the O’s lack of activity and a lot of players were in town working out at the organization’s mini-camp which takes place a few days leading up to Saturday’s FanFest. I’ll have full coverage and quotes up shortly on Orioles.com, but here are some of the non-contract highlights that came out of today…
*Duquette said the organization has been presented with an “umpteenth” amount of trade potentials, but they’ve decided in every instance to hang on to their young pitching. That doesn’t figure to change in the next few weeks, meaning the team –as it’s presently constructed — is pretty much what will go to Spring Training next month.
The Orioles would still like to sign a veteran starter, such as free agent Joe Saunders, and Duquette reminded reporters that last year’s team was built throughout the year not just in the winter and the club will continue to look for ways to do that this season.
Ownership representative Louis Angelos specifically mentioned RA Dickey, saying that the former Mets pitcher –who was traded to Toronto– was a really tough call, but the organization wanted to stay the course its on now and hang on to their young players.
*Second baseman Brian Roberts has been working out, although Showalter said he wouldn’t be completely honest if he said that Roberts has had no health setbacks this winter. There remains cautious optimism that he can stay healthy and help the club, but –as I’ve written before– there are contingency plans in place.
*Miguel Gonzalez said he has decided he will probably not pitch in the World Baseball Classic, a tough call but one that he hopes will pay off in his first big league camp. Gonzalez was rumored to be on the provisional roster for Team Mexico (those rosters will be announced at 4 p.m. today) and said the Orioles didn’t sway his opinion, but told him it was up to him.
Gonzalez has been working out with special assistant Brady Anderson and is in noticeably better shape. He said he’s only gained five pounds or so, but looks stronger in what he called his first offseason of having a true workout regimen.
*Left-handed pitcher Mark Hendrickson is taking part in the mini camp and has been working on developing a sidearm delivery. Hendrickson, who did not pitch last year, said he never retired –he just didn’t get a job– and the hope is he will be down in camp with the Orioles, or another team, next month.