Duquette: “We like Hardy and Wieters as core players on our ballclub”

The GM meetings are supposed to wrap up tonight in Orlando, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has another face-to-face scheduled for Thursday morning before he flies home.

I just got off the phone with Duquette, who said he’s met with a little more than half the teams. Special assistant Lee Thomas also has met with a few clubs.

Here’s a sampling of Duquette’s quotes:

On how he’d characterize the first three days: “We’ve been meeting with teams and agents and canvassing the market and seeing where we match up with teams. We’ve been talking to agents about signing some players to help bolster our ballclub, so we’re making some pretty good progress with a couple of conversations that we’ve had. Hopefully, some of the work we’re doing this week will bear fruit next week.”

On how many teams he’s met with this week: “We’ve probably talked to a little more than half the teams. We’ve sat down with a number of them face-to-face. Some touched base with us on their needs before the meetings. Some we don’t really match up with, but we’ve been making good progress. Lee Thomas is down here working, too. He’s talked to a number of clubs, too.”

On whether pitching is a top priority: “Right now, we’re looking at bolstering the club. We need an outfielder and a left-handed hitter to help at DH. And someone for the rotation. Like everyone else.”

On whether he’s looking for a second baseman: “Maybe. We’ll see.”

On rumors that he’s willing to trade J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters: “We like our core players. And it doesn’t surprise me that clubs would be interested in Hardy and Wieters. They’re good players. A lot of it is speculation. That’s the way it goes this time of the offseason. J.J. Hardy is coming off a terrific year.”

On whether we can expect to see Hardy and Wieters in the opening day lineup: “(Laughs). We like Hardy and Wieters as core players on our ballclub. It doesn’t surprise me that other clubs like them, too.”

Note: Chris Tillman didn’t receive any votes for the American League’s Cy Young Award. Detroit’s Max Scherzer was the runaway winner, of course.

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