With less than 48 hours remaining before the non-waiver trade deadline, executive vice president Dan Duquette said the Orioles are “still looking around to see if we can add a piece here or there to help the team.”
The Orioles are still looking at “hitting and pitching options,” Duquette said. “We’re looking at both.”
Not much has changed since last year’s non-waiver deadline. Duquette still feels good about the minor league depth, whether it enables him to make another deal or can provide immediate help to the club, especially with the players he’s funneled to Triple-A Norfolk. And he said again that ownership is supportive if the Orioles need to increase payroll.
“Our ownership is very supportive of us adding to the club to help this year,” Duquette said. “We’re going to do what we can to help our ballclub. We’re a few games ahead of where we were at this time last year.
“We want to do what we can do help the team make the playoffs again. And we want to make sure the team is strong so that we have a shot at the playoffs every year. That’s the idea.”
That said, the Orioles aren’t likely to take on a big contract for another starting pitcher. It goes against a philosophy that’s been in place for many years. And they aren’t likely to bring in a pitcher with a spotty medical history. Yes, I’m talking about you, Jake Peavy.
Here’s more from Duquette:
“We have some depth in our farm system to have the wherewithal to support our team,” he said. “We made a couple trades that brought all those players in Triple-A. Maybe a couple guys can help us down the stretch, too.
“We brought up (Henry) Urrutia and (LJ) Hoes. Both are good on-base guys. That should help us with run production. And we picked up (Alex) Liddi and (Eric) Thames in a couple minor league trades. They may be able help us also.”
Asked if a trade is imminent, Duquette replied, “These things are dynamic. They can change quickly this time of the year. We’re talking to a number of clubs. We’ll see if we can do the right thing for the team.
“Our scouts are all working. Lee Thomas. We have conference calls a couple times a week this time of the year, and we’re talking to a number of teams. We’ll see what we can do. We already made a couple trades to add to our pitching staff, to bolster our pitching staff, and we’ll see if we can do some more. But we’ve got pretty good depth to our farm system. I’m encouraged by that. And we also have some good reinforcements at (Triple-A).”
Update: Thomas, by the way, is in Rochester tonight for Triple-A Norfolk’s game against the Twins’ top affiliate. Not sure what to read into that, if anything.
Duquette was curious about a rumor that the Orioles would be willing to move Dylan Bundy.
“That probably came from someone who wants to trade for the player,” he said.
The Orioles will listen to offers for any player. No one is deemed “untouchable.” But as I’ve stated all day in the comments section of this blog and on Twitter, the club would have to be overwhelmed to relinquish Bundy, top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman or top position prospect Jonathan Schoop.
“We like Dylan Bundy,” Duquette said. “Obviously, a lot of people in the industry like him. But we have some front-line prospects that other teams like, and they should like them.
“This time of the year, we’re trying to help the major league club, and some of those prospects we have are going to be with the major league club for a long time.”
Note: Outfielder Steve Pearce will continue his injury-rehab assignment with Single-A Frederick, where he’s expected to play tonight through Wednesday.
Pearce, on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left wrist, was batting .235 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 28 games with the Orioles. He began his rehab assignment on Friday with the Gulf Coast League team and went 2-for-5 with an RBI in two games. Saturday’s game was halted in the second inning because of rain.