DALLAS - I’ll post quotes later, but I wanted to pass along the highlights from today’s media session with executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Duquette said he met with about 12 teams today and spoke to six or seven others. He has a few more meetings scheduled for tonight.
Duquette said most of the activity today centered on trade discussions, and 65 percent of it involved pitching.
The Orioles are in the market for a veteran starter who can provide stability to the rotation, but they also want to strengthen the bullpen. Duquette noted that the market contains more relief options than starters.
When I asked whether he was focusing on late-inning or multiple-inning relievers, Duquette paused before saying, “Good ones who can get out both left-handed and right-handed hitters.”
Duquette said he expects teams to trade players on the market over the next 36 hours, “and we’re in on some of them.”
Asked about Prince Fielder, Duquette again confirmed that he’s got some interest, but he added that the club has a lot of work to do on the pitching staff and would probably direct most of its resources on pitching. It sure doesn’t sound like the Orioles will be major players for Fielder.
Infielder Robert Andino is attracting a lot of interest from other teams. He’s viewed by some as an everyday shortstop. The Orioles value him as a utility player who could start regularly at second base if Brian Roberts is unavailable.
Duquette said he’s been “encouraged” by some of the recent reports on Roberts.
Duquette won’t give a starting pitcher more than three years, and he reminded reporters that he’s never signed a free-agent pitcher to a long-term contract. He traded for Pedro Martinez and gave him an extension. He signed Bret Saberhagen for two years.
Duquette also said he wants to build around Nick Markakis, as well as Adam Jones and Matt Wieters.
Nothing new to announce on the front office. Manager Buck Showalter hopes to announce his coaching staff by Thursday. And the Orioles are still waiting to find out whether pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon is staying in Korea or coming to the majors. Duquette hopes to know in the next week or so.
Chong has been examined by the team doctors, and Duquette continues to hold discussions with them. That’s as far as he came to answering whether there were any medical issues with Chong.
Quotes to follow.