DALLAS - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette feels that some players will be traded during the next 36 hours here at the Winter Meetings.
The question is, will the Orioles be involved in any of those deals?
“We’ve had a lot of discussions,” Duquette said. “Probably met face to face with eight clubs (today) and then we also had discussions with another eight or 10 other clubs that we hope to bring to fruition here before the end of the week.”
Duquette joined me for a one-on-one video interview this evening after his larger session with the Baltimore media at the meetings.
When it comes to trade talks and the Orioles players involved in those discussions, I asked Duquette if they are players the Orioles put out on the market or players that other teams are seeking in a deal.
“It’s a combination of both,” he said. “We’ve been canvassing the pitching market and then also looking for an outfielder to either support our left field situation or to backup in center. Those are the markets where we’ve been active. Some of those clubs have come to us with proposals and we’ve left some proposals with the other clubs. We’ll see if we can close them in the next few days.”
Duquette does not want to discuss any specific names, but said he has also had discussions with some free agent pitchers.
“We’ve talked to a couple of pitchers that are available in the free agent market and there are going to be a few more available here in the next week or so,” he said. “I think you will see pitchers signed in that major league free agent market for the next couple of weeks.”
Duquette feels the new collective bargaining agreement could be impacting the pace (somewhat slow right now) of free agent signings.
“I still think teams are trying to sift through the new basic agreement,” Duquette said. “They are trying to look at how that will impact the way they are doing business. There is the new stadium down in Miami that is driving the free agent market. I see the Marlins agreed to terms with Reyes as the first big signing.
“I see a lot of other teams moving forward very carefully trying to figure out where the market is going to be and how they are going to acquire players to fit into that market.”
Duquette, during a recent interview on a Boston radio station, said the Orioles’ payroll for 2012 would be “flat.” I asked him if that meant in the same range as last year’s payroll, which was in the neighborhood of $87 million.
“Right now, while we are putting our team together, that is what we are looking at,” Duquette said. “If there were to be some opportunities in the market that would really help the ballclub, maybe we could go out and do something a little bit beyond that. Right now we have the resources, we have some payroll that has been freed up from some of the moves we made to invest to improve the team.”