The players keep filtering into the backstage area at FanFest. I click off my recorder, turn my back and someone else is waiting to be interviewed.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette finished his forum with manager Buck Showalter that was reserved for season-ticket holders. He didn’t quiet the Prince Fielder speculation when he said, “Are we going to get him? I don’t know. But if we don’t, we’ll look for someone just like him.”
Showalter said he just wants the chance to manage someone named “Prince.” He also made a reference to the “symbol” that the Purple Rain musician used for a while.
Duquette met with reporters for about 10 minutes after the forum. Here are a few highlights:
On whether he’ll make more changes to the roster: “We should be able to sign a few more players to supplement our roster, players we can at least take a look at in camp. We’ll continue to work on improving our roster. That never stops, really, but I think there’s a good opportunity to add a few more players here in the next couple of weeks.”
On whether that includes another starter: “There are some other players that we could add that we would consider for our rotation. There are a few players who are still out there.”
On negotiating extensions for current players: “The players that you can lock up long-term, there has to be interest from the player and there’s got to be a commitment from the team. We’re kind of seeing if there’s any possibilities there.”
Duquette won’t think about extensions for any of his arbitration-eligible players until he can get them under contract for 2012 and hopefully avoid a hearing.
On whether he’s looking for a designated hitter: “There are some players that are attractive to us that we might be able to sign as a DH. That’s still possible.”
On Fielder: “I’m not clear on what the market is, but we know Prince is a good player, so it’s something we’ve been monitoring for a long time.”
Duquette continues to dance away from questions regarding Manny Ramirez. I tried again this morning.
“Manny’s a very interesting guy and he’s working hard to get another opportunity,” Duquette said.
On Brian Roberts: “I spoke to Brian last week and he sends his regards to the fans here. He’s hoping to be ready when he gets to Sarasota. We need to have a little bit more patience and see how he recovers, see how this plays out.”
Roberts told Duquette that he’s started his workout program.
Coming up: A few words from Brad Bergesen, Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis.
Be sure to check Steve Melewski’s blog on MASNsports.com. We’re trying to divide the workload today.