DALLAS - It appears that the Orioles are quite serious about beefing up their international scouting efforts under new executive vice president Dan Duquette.
Fred Ferreira, who was hired officially today as the Orioles' executive director of international recruiting, said he has already reached verbal agreements to hire 10 new international scouts. He said they will work in the Dominican, Venezuela, Curacao, Guatemala, Holland and Costa Rica.
Ferreira also said there is a decent possibility that the Orioles will look to add an academy in Venezuela and field a team that plays in the Venezuelan summer league. The O's already have a Dominican academy and a club in the Dominican summer league.
"It's something I'm going to look into, yes," he said about adding an academy in Venezuela. "It could happen very soon, sure. It's just a matter of having enough players to get in there."
Ferreira, who has signed 57 international players over the years that have made the majors, said he feels a club must be as active in Venezuelan as it is in the Dominican in acquiring international talent.
"I have always treated them equal, even though there has been more publicity as far as Dominican players, but I go into both countries with the same attitude looking for players," he said.
"I've had good success in Curacao. There have been Cuba defectors going to Costa Rica, so I stay on top of that. I've had success in Holland. (Rick) VandenHurk is one of my players."
Ferreira said he is quite confident his current international contacts remain strong.
"I have very good contacts," he said. "I'm very satisfied with them and they've been with me since the Yankee days. I have no problems with that. I may add a couple here and there because of the expanded scouting in the world."