DALLAS - In our last one on one video interview of the Winter Meetings with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, I asked him about several topics, including the club’s acquisition of lefty pitcher Dana Eveland in a trade with the Dodgers.
But I also asked the question many fans are asking today: Do the Orioles still have a chance for some bigger moves this offseason either with trades or through a free agent signing, or is Duquette resigned to the fact the Orioles can’t or won’t be making any bigger moves?
“No, not necessarily,” he said. “We are still looking at some players that we think will be quality added to our roster. I’m hopeful we can add a couple more between now and the time to go to spring training. The signing season is stretching out a little longer than it has in the past and there a lot of players on the market we think can help the team.”
Even though the 28-year-old Eveland has a career ERA of 5.52, the Orioles noted his improved performance in 2011 when he went 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA in 25 starts in a very hitter friendly park at Triple-A Albuquerque and went 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five September starts with the Dodgers.
“Dana is a left-handed pitcher of some note,” Duquette said. “He won 15 games this year between Triple-A Albuquerque and the Dodgers. He won three in the big leagues for the Dodgers. You know Albuquerque is a tough place to pitch and Dana is a lefty that is very durable. He showed that he can pitch a lot of innings.
“He’s got a good fastball and curve, he’s got a developing changeup. We think he can compete for a spot in our rotation and certainly add depth to our major league pitching staff.”
I asked Duquette what he saw with Eveland pitching better last season.
“He told me that he had his elbow examined and he had some bone chips taken out at the end of last season and that really helped him,” Duquette said. “It was certainly reflected in the good performance that he put together between Albuquerque and Los Angeles. He became available when the Dodgers signed another starting pitcher to their ball club. This is the type of pitcher we think can make us more competitive.”
So what is next for the Orioles?
“We are still looking to add depth to our pitching staff and quality to our rotation if we can,” Duquette said. “We are going to try to address that after we leave the winter meetings.”
Since I have asked Duquette a few times about Adam Jones here in Dallas, I fired one more question at him. Since the Orioles have expressed a strong desire to keep Jones and not trade him, will Duquette consider beginning contract extension talks with his center fielder?
“I believe our team is stronger with Adam Jones,” Duquette said. “I haven’t looked at the numbers. I don’t know what would make sense for the club. I don’t know that we’ll pursue a contract extension with any of our players. Our next order of business is to tender contracts to all the ones that we need to tender to and we’ll be doing that next week.’
Duquette has not yet made a decision about whether he will non-tender Luke Scott or offer him arbitration.
“We haven’t decided what we are going to do with Luke Scott.” he said. “That is another decision that we will have to take a close look at this weekend and decide what if anything we are going to do next week.”