Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette watched part of Wednesday night’s game with agent Scott Boras, who was in town to visit clients from both teams.
Boras represents catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis and pitchers Wei-Yin Chen, Francisco Rodriguez and Zach Britton. Rodriguez is a pending free agent.
“They’re some of our core group,” Duquette said.
“It was just an informal meeting. We’re turning our attention to having a good team next year.”
Asked about how he’s always wanted to keep the core group together, Duquette replied, “That’s a little early for that, but you know, we’ve made clear our intention to keep that core group together, and we’ll try and do that in the offseason.”
Second baseman Brian Roberts also is a pending free agent, and he’s expressed his desire to remain with the Orioles.
“Brian Roberts has done a nice job,” Duquette said. “He’s done a nice job being a setup hitter and showing good patience at the plate, and he’s come around defensively and made some good plays. I appreciate what he’s done, and I also appreciate the work that he does as a patient hitter, staying in proportion to the strike zone at the plate. I think that’s a good role model for all our players.”
Here’s more from Duquette:
On formulating plans for next year:
“I’m sure there’s time for us to get to that. Once you finish your season, you turn your attention to the next year, right? You’re trying to win today or prepare today so you can win tomorrow, right? We’ve still got a couple of more games to play and we’ll turn our attention more definitively to the future.”
On whether the season is a success without making the playoffs:
“I think there’s a lot of good things in this season. The feedback that I’m getting from the fans is that they’re happy that we had another winning season, of course, and they got a chance to see a couple of players emerge as stars in Davis and (Manny) Machado. I think they can see that there’s plenty of hope for the future. We have a pretty solid pitching staff and a good core group of players.”
On how much the payroll could increase:
“I’ll talk about that next week. We’re doing some more planning, and I’ll have a better idea for you. The core players have put together performances that will earn them significant raises. Last year, I think those raises were over $22 million.”
On whether he could fit Robinson Cano’s $300 million in the budget:
(Duquette grinned. I took it as a deal-breaker.)
On plans to meet with manager Buck Showalter:
“I’m sure we’ll get together next week and talk.”
On how he characterizes this season:
“I think we’re all disappointed when it ends before you have a chance to get in the tournament, get into the playoffs, so I’m sure we’re all disappointed in the ending, but there’s certainly some really good takeaways from the season, and that’s what we’re getting back from the fans. They’re really happy about the season. They’re happy that it was a winning season. They’re happy that we were in the race. Glad to see the young talent emerging. Chris Davis had a fantastic season. (Adam) Jones had a top season. Machado had a good season. We have some other good players on the horizon, so we’ve built up our talent base where we should be competitive again.”
On whether he’ll have input on the coaching staff for 2014:
“I think all those decisions, they’re better left to when the season’s over and they’re all organizational decisions.”
On the decision to keep Tsuyoshi Wada in Sarasota:
“There’s no reason he couldn’t be brought up. We just decided not to bring him here.”