Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and new scouting director Gary Rajsich just finished a conference call with several Baltimore reporters and here are some topics they discussed.
Duquette on the amount of scouts the team will employ:
"We have appropriate staffing levels and we are going to be making some other changes to the staff to make sure we are strong, not just in amatuer scouting, but in professional and international scouting as well."
Duquette informed reporters that Lee MacPhail IV has been reassinged from director of professional scouting to the major league scouting staff.
"I doubt we will have a professional scouting director (MacPhail's previous positon). We will have appropriate staffing for all scouting at all levels - amateur, professional, major and minor league and international."
Duquette on the addition of Rajsich:
"He's a terrific judge of talent and that is what we were looking for first and foremost. He has a nice way about him, gets along with people and is a real people person as well. We think those two traits we will be able to leverage to help our team. We primarily were looking for somebody that has experience and success in identifying and signing talent and Gary certainly has that."
Rajsich talked about getting the job:
"This is something I always wanted to do. The last nine years I've been looking at pro players that belong to someone else. Here's a chance to go out and evaluate and draft and acquire players we can actually get. In that sense it's very exciting. To me scouting is scouting, no matter what level."
Does Rajsich have a preference between high school and college players:
"I really don't have a preference. I don't think you can close yourself off to one segment of the draft. I think there needs to be a good mix and good players are everywhere. I think they are equally important.
"The philosophy for me is to draft players with talent, great makeup and upside and then turn them over to the farm system to develop them into winners."
Rajsich was asked about his staff:
"A few of them I know and have a relationship with. There are a few holes to fill but that will be one of our first orders of business."
Is he a bit behind because he didn't scout summer showcases and places like the Cap Cod League?
"Yes I do feel that way, but that is where I will have to rely on our people that have been there and trust their ability. I will rely on those guys to let me know what they saw."
Rajsich on scouting in the American League East:
"It is very exciting. That is one of the challenges of this job. I do have an understanding of the product that needs to be on the field in this division. I will try to raise the bar here so that we scout and we evaluate talent to do just that."
How does Rajsich feel about the new collective bargaining agreement as it relates to the draft:
"I think the clear intent of major league baseball was to control the spiraling bonuses and I think they've done that. Intially what it means to me is it will make it easier to sign some guys but on the other hand it will make it more difficult to sign some guys."
Is he satisfied that ownership will back him to sign players?
"I think that the amateur scouting department has had the support of ownership to sign players over the last several years according to their record, so that wasn't a concern of mine. Dan knows the importance of signing good players and the right players and that is where we will target our funds."