LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette touched on a variety of topics during his daily session with the media. The board behind him that contains the names of specific trade and free-agent targets was turned around to prevent reporters from reading it.
We offered to take up a collection as a bribe, but it didn't work.
Here's a sampling of Duquette's quotes:
(On what he accomplished so far today): "We met with several agents and a couple of teams on the trade front. We were trying to find what our options were on the left-handed hitters, so we've been working on that for most of the day. And we've been taking a look at the pitcher market. We're still working on that. We met with a lot of people. I can tell you that. We're getting a little bit closer on exactly what the market is for some of these pitchers. I think you'll see some of these pitchers fall in the next couple of days. Starters and relievers. And then some of the trade options, we got a little bit more focus on them. That will take a little more time. We're going to do some more work tomorrow on the Rule 5 draft."
(On outrighting Cord Phelps to Triple-A Norfolk): "When we picked up Jemile Weeks, he's a switch-hitting second baseman similar to Phelps. We thought we had a reasonable chance to get Phelps through, so we chose to get the roster spot."
(On whether he feels confident that he will add a player other than Rule 5 pick): "Yeah, absolutely. We had a lot of conversations. We should be adding more players by the end of the week."
(On whether players who served PED suspensions are troubling to him): "I think the club has to do its due diligence on all of the players, and performance enhancing drugs are just another area that the clubs have to look carefully at. We have a systematic way to approach it. It's really a fact of life now. But as far as doing our due diligence, we do our due diligence on all the players."
(On whether he's more likely to sign a starter for one year): "Not necessarily."
(On whether there's a better chance of a trade or a signing): "We're looking at a couple of trade options, and we're also looking at a couple signing options. It's easy to go out and sign players. Trades are a little bit more complicated. But we've been working on both."
(On whether he'd consider a pitcher who might not be ready on opening day): "There's a lot of pitchers who are under rehab and those are under consideration, too."
(On whether he's got to find a leadoff hitter): "That's going to be a challenge. That's something we've got to keep an eye on."
(On whether he'd describe any trade talks as more than lukewarm): "No. We're talking to teams and sometimes you hit on a player. We haven't quite got there yet."
(On whether he'd be willing to sacrifice a first-round draft pick to sign a free agent): "Maybe."
Duquette wouldn't bite when asked about potential interest in outfielder Rajai Davis, saying only that he expects Davis to sign in the next day or two.
"I wish I had some more news for you," Duquette said. "Maybe tomorrow."