NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first day of the Winter Meetings ended quietly for the Orioles.
Dan Duquette, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations said that he met Monday with four teams to talk trade and three or four agents.
“We’re still working on a couple of trade options to see if we can develop them to a point where we can make a trade, but we’re not quite there yet,” Duquette said.
“We’re kind of focused in filling out our lineup.”
The Orioles continue to try and deal pitching.
“We think we have accumulated some solid pitching depth. There’s a surplus of starting pitching. There’s also a surplus of relief pitchers on the roster,” Duquette said.
“We’re finding what teams we’re compatible with. We’re narrowing our options.”
Duquette said the team would have to increase its payroll next season. He won’t put a figure on the total payroll, but did say that raises to Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Darren O’Day, Troy Patton and others would cost about $22 million.
“The good news is that our players are going to be on our roster; they earned the money by having good years,” Duquette said. “We have enough money to field a competitive team.”
Duquette is heartened by the team’s popularity
“This past year’s team connected with the fans, so that we have more interest in the team, which would allow us to be a little more aggressive as we put our team together,” he said.
Duquette said the Orioles’ payroll, which was near the bottom third last season, would not grow to the top 10 in the foreseeable future.
“Our market is our market. Our market hasn’t really changed dramatically, but we have connected with the fans, so there’s more interest in our market,” Duquette said.
NOTE: Fred Ferreira, the Orioles’ head of international scouting, received an award at the Scout of the Year Luncheon. Ferreira signed Miguel Gonzalez from the Mexican League.