NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A national reporter today quoted an executive from an unidentified team as saying the Orioles were in "hard" in their pursuit of free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche of the Nationals.
Not only are the Orioles not in hot pursuit of LaRoche right now, they did not even speak to him or his representative today here at the Winter Meetings.
"We like Adam LaRoche, but to say the Orioles are in heavy negotiations with him is not accurate," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said tonight in an exclusive video interview with MASNSports.com.
When asked if the O's have talked to LaRoche or his rep today, Duquette said, "No. We'll have to wait and see on that."
So the earlier reports this afternoon about the Orioles pursuit of LaRoche were just not accurate?
"No, that is not accurate from the Orioles perspective," Duquette said.
Meanwhile, as for the two biggest fish on the free agent market, Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, the Orioles just are not pursuers of the pair right now.
"Well, I don't know if there is a fit for them in our ballclub. We'll have to see where the market settles. But our focus is on some other ballplayers right now," Duquette said.
The Orioles continue to pursue a hitter via a trade and Duquette indicated that at least some small progress was made on that front today.
"We moved the ball down the road a little bit. We still don't have anything to report except we are trying to fill in some spots in the middle of our lineup," he said.
An industry source indicated the the Orioles consider the asking price pretty high for a quality bat right now. It seems the Orioles have a certain value on their young pitchers and until another team matches that value level, they may hold off on a deal.
"We like our pitchers, they have a lot of value to our ballclub. They are young and they're good. We value them, we're glad we have them," he said.
Check back later on this blog to see tonight's video interview with Duquette.