As Winter Meetings approach, some O’s fans are becoming impatient

The natives are getting restless.

Orioles fans are watching other teams sign players, watching 2013 Orioles sign elsewhere and not seeing their own team make what they feel are significant acquisitions.

Some fans were not happy with the Jim Johnson trade. Yesterday, pitcher Scott Feldman signed with Houston and outfielder Nate McLouth with Washington. Some fans see those players leaving and feel their team is not as good now as it was at end of a 2013 season, which did not conclude with a playoff berth. It hasn’t been a great few days for the club in terms of fan reaction.

While O’s action is slow to materialize, the rest of the American League East has been pretty busy. Plus, O’s fans saw Minnesota sign two pitchers for a combined $73 million and Kansas City signed Jason Vargas for $32 million, as so-called small market teams made pretty sizable moves. Other pitching targets are off the board, as well. One potential closer, Edward Mujica, signed with Boston.

The natives are indeed restless and some would need to calm down a considerable amount to just be restless.

Is the pressure on Dan Duquette? I can almost hear many of you screaming, “Yes!” right now.

I can only imagine the reaction if the Winter Meetings come and go without a significant pickup by the Orioles. Fans are questioning the team’s commitment to winning right now.

Yes, it is still early, but some fans don’t want to hear that anymore. That doesn’t make it any less true, however. If the Orioles do make some solid signings or trades in the next few weeks - or even months - the fan unrest of this week will be forgotten in time.

So what is Duquette thinking right now? He appears calm and confident that moves are coming, moves that will be met with fan approval. He has promised to reinvest Jim Johnson’s 2014 salary and we all should hold him to that.

I think it would be great PR for the club right now for someone to come out and say the O’s are willing to spend $110 or 120 million on players for next year. Increasing the payroll to that level seems reasonable to me.

By the way, Roch Kubatko and I, along with others from, will be traveling to the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Sunday and we’ll have wall-to-wall reports, blogs and tweets from there beginning that evening. So keep it here more than ever over the next few days. I’ll also provide some video interviews from the Winter Meetings, including several with Duquette.

We’ll see if things heat up for the Orioles. Some fans are frustrated right now. Will they be feeling better in a few days?

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