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Orioles in position for moves before Deadline

Duquette says pitching depth, building from within remains top priority

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are in the market for pitching depth, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette reiterated prior to Tuesday's game.

Duquette, who told that was the priority over the weekend, said nothing is imminent, although the organization continues to have "meaningful discussions" and is equipped to make a move in advance of Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline at 4 p.m. ET.

"We have pretty good depth to our farm system," Duquette said. "So, I think we have the wherewithal to make a deal."

There are several Minor League names that don't figure into discussions as Duquette seems to be standing by his belief of building from within. The O's are not making pitchers Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey available in trade talks and they also are not parting with young righty Kevin Gausman, who is currently part of the O's rotation.

"We'd like the star players to come up and make an impact on the team," Duquette said. "In 2012, we brought up Manny [Machado] and he made a difference in the pennant race. In 2014, we've got Kevin Gausman on our team, and we hope he will impact the race, so that's really the first choice, to have those really talented players play for us and prove themselves in the big leagues."

If the Orioles do add pitching depth, it figures to be bullpen help or a starter they can have ready in the Minor Leagues. With Ubaldo Jimenez slated to make his first rehab start on Tuesday night, the O's could have a roster crunch in the rotation and adding a frontline starter -- especially given the haul it would require to give up -- isn't very likely.

And while the club is looking around at some position upgrades, Duquette reminded reporters on Tuesday that the Orioles will continue to operate on a defense-first basis in any potential moves.

"If you look at it, those are a couple areas where we could improve," he said. I got to say, there's tradeoffs in everything. Our guys have done a nice job defensively at second, have done a nice job defensively catching. They've contributed offensively, although it hasn't been consistent.

"Ideally, we'd like to have a more consistent contribution from those positions, but given the choice, we'd much rather have the defense first. I think we have the defense. If we could add to our offensive team, that would probably be something we could take a look at."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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