NEW YORK - Executive vice president Dan Duquette just completed a conference call with reporters following today’s non-waiver trade deadline, which passed without the Orioles making a deal.
“The opportunities we looked at had a cost and I wasn’t convinced that they weren’t a lot better than the people we had in the organization, and you know, hence, we weren’t able to make some of the deals we had on the table,” Duquette said. “There will be some other opportunities in the month of August. This is the last time you can really add without getting involved in the waiver process. There will be some other opportunities for us, I think, to add to our team.”
Duquette wasn’t going to talk about specific teams and players, but he added, “We did all the groundwork we had to do to make a couple of deals, but we couldn’t find the fit. We couldn’t find the fit in regard to having some of the inventory in the minor leagues to make some deals. We didn’t have what some people wanted and they were able to find it from some other teams.
“I thought we might be able to get something done today. You know, at this time of year, it’s cost of talent and cost of adding salaries to your roster. Those are the two costs. We had resources set aside on both ends, players that we could trade and money that we could add. You know, it didn’t work.
“I think we have significant solutions to some of our issues here already in the organization. My experience is that you need to recognize that. Some teams like some of our young pitching. Our job now is to get that young pitching to the point where they can pitch productively for us in Baltimore.”
Did the Orioles send a message to their players that the pieces are already in place here to make a run at the postseason?
“There’s a couple ways to look at it,” Duquette replied. “First of all, it’s always nice to get reinforcements and depth, because it’s a long season and it takes contributions from a lot of team members. Not just the 25, but people you bring up from the minors and players you trade for. We made a couple of deals, for instance in (Jim) Thome and (Omar) Quintanilla that were added to the team, and then we brought up a couple of players in (Miguel) Gonzalez and (Chris) Tillman from the minors that also have made contributions to the team. We’re looking for good contributions from Zach Britton, for example, who hasn’t been with the team for very long. And I think we have some other people in our operations with the team that can help us. And frankly, a lot of people that we have are just as good, and in some cases better, than the people we were offered in trade.
“I’m not going to debate the top pitchers and top starters that went to some other teams in the race, but I do see, for example, Jason Hammel coming back here in the short term and making a contribution, and I’m also looking for a contribution from some of the other pitchers that we sent to the minors, like (Jake) Arrieta and (Brian) Matusz.”
Duquette told reporters earlier this summer that the Orioles were “in it to win it.” His thinking hasn’t changed.
“We’re still in contention,” he said. “We’ll be getting some players back to help the team. And I still think we have pretty good depth.”
Does he expect fans to be upset with his failure to make a trade?
“There will be other opportunities to add to the team,” he said. “We’ve been adding to the team steadily as the season has come on. We would have liked to have done a deal or two today, but I don’t think we’re done adding to the team.”