LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and other team officials were on my flight to Orlando today. We made it out of Baltimore despite the heavy snow.
Duquette will meet with the local beat writers at 7:30 p.m., but he already dropped a little information on his cousin, Jim Duquette, and former general manager Jim Bowden during an interview on MLB Network Radio.
According to a series of tweets, Dan Duquette indicated that the Orioles are interested in Raul Ibanez as a left-handed bat.
Ibanez, 41, batted .242/.306/.487 with 20 doubles, 29 home runs and 65 RBIs in 124 games with the Mariners. He has 300 homers in 18 major league seasons.
After hitting 24 homers, driving in 56 runs and posting a .578 slugging percentage in the first half, Ibanez batted .203/.295/.345 with five homers and nine RBIs in 51 games after the break.
Ibanez played 99 games in left field, but I don’t recall hearing him mentioned among the finalists for a Gold Glove. His .306 on-base percentage didn’t impress, either. But he’s got some pop and could be a left-handed designated hitter.
Ibanez always will be remembered in Baltimore for his two home runs against the Orioles in Game 3 of the 2012 American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.
Ready to embrace him?
Duquette confirmed interest in reliever John Axford, as the Orioles continue their search for a closer. Also, the club remains linked to Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who was discussed on Monday before the Orioles shipped Jim Johnson to the Athletics for infielder Jemile Weeks and a PTBN.
The Orioles checked on the availability of Ethier and another Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp, but there were issues with the amount of salary that the Dodgers were willing to absorb, according to an industry source.
Duquette apparently shot down rumors that the Orioles were interested in Kendrys Morales as a full-time designated hitter.
Duquette remains confident that he can add an experienced pitcher or two before leaving the Swan and Dolphin Resort, but he told MLB Network Radio that the club won’t pursue Japan’s Masahiro Tanaka because of the posting fee.
The trick now is getting Duquette to repeat all of this, and provide more information, during his session with the local media. He normally won’t talk about specific free agents during interviews.