LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There was a lot of talk regarding the Orioles' potential to trade superstar Manny Machado, but no deal went down over the course of four days at the 2017 Winter Meetings.The O's instead will continue to search for two starting pitchers, a left-handed bat and
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There was a lot of talk regarding the Orioles' potential to trade superstar Manny Machado, but no deal went down over the course of four days at the 2017 Winter Meetings.
The O's instead will continue to search for two starting pitchers, a left-handed bat and a lefty relief option, while weighing that against the risk of trading pieces like Machado and relievers Brad Brach and Mychal Givens.
"We're going to do what we can to put together the best club we can," said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. "And obviously there's a lot of interest in our players on our roster who are going to be free agents [after the 2018 season], so we need to sort through the extent of that interest and see if a trade makes sense."
Duquette said there are "active discussions" with numerous teams, with the White Sox and Cardinals thought to be two of them. The Orioles are looking to obtain young, controllable pitching. Baltimore made a splash in the Rule 5 Draft, but otherwise its lone Major League signing was six-year free-agent pitcher Michael Kelly, who will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
"Kelly won 10 games in Double-A with the Padres, and we see him as a good prospect to come up and support our Major League staff," Duquette said. "He has a good curve and good breaking stuff. He's another South Florida kid. And [he's been] very durable over the course of his career, and [he] should be ready to do well at Triple-A and support the Major League team."
The O's added some pitching depth, but they didn't check off any items from their shopping list in at the Meetings. They still need two starting pitchers, a left-handed bat and catching depth. Those needs could change drastically if they were to trade any of their key players.
Rule 5 Draft
With just 34 players on their 40-man heading into the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles were active, taking three of the 18 Major League picks on Thursday morning.
The O's picks included left-hander Nestor Cortes from the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate, righty Pedro Araujo from the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa roster and righty Jose Mesa Jr., who was on the Yankees' Double-A Trenton roster.
GM's bottom line
Even if the Orioles do swing a deal for Machado -- which will not come with a 72-hour negotiating window -- they will still try to win next season.
"We're still going to try to have the most competitive team that we can have," Duquette said. "We just felt it was prudent to see the extent of the interest in some of our players."