O's confident they'll make additions at Meetings
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Despite not making any new offers since landing in Florida on Sunday, the Orioles met with numerous free agents and discussed potential trade scenarios Monday and remain optimistic that they'll upgrade the roster before leaving the Winter Meetings.
"Yeah, absolutely," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said when asked if the club would add guys, excluding the Rule 5 Draft, before boarding a plane back north on Thursday. "We had a lot of conversations, we should be adding more players by the end of the week."
Baltimore's priorities are to add a left-handed hitter and some pitching, with the team looking at designated-hitter options who can also play the field. Duquette, who said the team hasn't ruled out rehabbing pitchers -- meaning Gavin Floyd and Joel Hanrahan are still in play -- is also open to signing a free-agent arm that would cost the club a Draft pick. Starters Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez are two pitchers who rejected qualifying offers and would require a Draft pick sacrificed, and the Orioles also spent a chunk of Monday going over potential ninth-inning options.
Duquette, who wouldn't categorize any trade talks as anything more than lukewarm, said the organization is getting "closer" to identifying what the market is for pitchers and expected some signings to start happening. He also predicted that free agent Rajai Davis would sign somewhere in the next day or two, although he wouldn't bite on if the Orioles have interest in the speedy outfielder.
The O's aren't necessarily scared off by players who have records with performance-enhancing drugs, like free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz and starter Bartolo Colon.
"I think a club has to due its due diligence on all the players, and performance-enhancing drugs is just another area that clubs have to look carefully at," Duquette said. "We have a systematic way to approach it. It's really a fact of life now."