A few notes and quotes in today’s entry:
The Duke: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was a guest Wednesday on MLB Network with host Chris Russo from the general managers meetings and was asked if some moves are expected to happen fast in the trade and free agent markets:
“Well, this is going to happen pretty quickly between now and the Winter Meetings (in early December), I think. Teams are lining up and aligning their interests with each other. I think you’ll see some trades in the next couple of days as clubs leave here. And then I think you’ll see several trades going up to the Winter Meetings, and I think you’ll see a flurry of free agent signings between now and the Winter Meetings.”
Duquette was asked if he has a deadline for the Orioles to sign their own free agents.
“I think we’ll take a look at all the options in the market,” he said. “I know the players that were with our ballclub are looking at their options. We have to look at our options and then at some point, we’ll have to set sail and put together a competitive team. We’re not quite there yet, but I’m sure we’ll be there in the next couple of weeks.”
The Sisco kid: Chance Sisco remains the Orioles’ highest-rated catching prospect. While he is almost certainly not ready to catch in the majors next year if Matt Wieters leaves the team, a few people in the organization I’ve talked with see the potential for Sisco to become a capable defensive catcher. Before you dismiss the word capable, that would mean good enough to hold his own, and the Orioles would then have a catcher that profiles and projects as a good hitter.
Taken with the 61st pick in the 2013 draft, Sisco has a career slash line of .326/.402/.436 and reached Double-A Bowie at 20 this season. He could spend an entire year in the Eastern League in 2016 at 21.
The knocks on Sisco’s defense, while valid now according to several scouts, in some respects remind me of Caleb Joseph when he was on the O’s farm. He should be Sisco’s role model on defense. Joseph’s defense was often knocked by scouts, but guess what he did: He got better and it took a while. This doesn’t happen in a few weeks or even months. But Joseph worked very hard to make the needed improvements and now is considered an above average defensive major league catcher. At 20, Sisco has time on his side here.
Boras speaks: Agent Scott Boras spoke with reporters at the general managers meetings in Florida. He expressed that Wei-Yin Chen may still be upset about being sent to Single-A Frederick in June of last season.
Has any player and his agent whined for so long over so little? The Orioles have sent several pitchers to minor league affiliates since Buck Showalter has been manager to get in a start or two. None complained to reporters that I can recall. Isn’t it long past time for Chen and Boras to move on from this?
If Showalter’s sending Chen to Frederick was to keep him pitching while avoiding Toronto, it is possible he actually helped Chen’s ERA this season by keeping him away from such a good hitting lineup against lefty pitchers. Maybe that will help Boras get Chen a few extra dollars in the end.
Boras and Chen made their feelings known once, and then Chen downplayed the whole thing the night he actually did pitch in Frederick. He asked reporters to “leave it in the past.” I guess his agent didn’t get that message.