Blog Entry

Orioles sure don't sound like players on Fielder

Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:38 pm
Regarding all the industry buzz that has the Orioles in hot pursuit of free agent slugger Prince Fielder this winter?

It might be time to cool it.

Baltimore issued its first public policy statement on Fielder on Tuesday, and in his introductory press conference as the club's new general manager, Dan Duquette sounded like a man more interested in devoting resources to the farm than to Fielder.

"Everybody wants to look at established major league players," Duquette said when asked specifically about big-ticket free agents such as Fielder or pitcher C.J. Wilson. "My success in the free agent market has been more signing players who can compliment the team [once core players are in place].

"When you can sign a player who can get you over the top, that's the time, I think, when it's right to go into the free agent market, personally."

From their perch at the bottom of the AL East, where they went 69-93 and produced the worst pitching staff in the American League, the Orioles do not look like they are ready to go "over the top" anytime soon.

Duquette's strength is in scouting -- both domestic and international -- and player development. He did sign free agents Manny Ramirez (2001) and Johnny Damon (2002) when he was in charge of the Red Sox, though those Boston teams were much further along than the current Orioles.

Duquette added Manny to a Red Sox club that had finished second in the AL East at 85-77 in 2000, then added Damon to a club that was second at 82-79 in 2001. Three years later, his instincts were proven correct: The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and again in 2007.

Speaking in Baltimore on Tuesday, Duquette noted that when you think you're within a player or two of winning, or when you have a chance to sign someone who is "a good value for a long period of time, that's when you should go into the free agent market. I believe Orioles fans understand that."

Sure doesn't sound like an organization prepared to toss a blank check in Fielder's direction.

Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2011 1:16 pm

Orioles sure don't sound like players on Fielder

Getting a big name in here would help the fans get into a a winning frame of mind.

We need something to get us started. We have some good young player around here. We just need to bild in that. A big name would help move that along.

GO O's    

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 5:46 pm

Orioles sure don't sound like players on Fielder

They might have considered a move like this before they hired Duquette, but it won't be happening anymore. The frustrating part for Orioles fans is that ownership sold them a couple years ago that they were "just about out of the pit". Now they're basically being told they're dropping to the bottom again and starting over. It's the right move for Duquette because the roster he currently has is more than half a 25 man roster away from competing with the other four teams in the AL East. I'd build around a guy like Matt Wieters, and start looking for moves that will improve the organization top to bottom. I'm willing to bet we'll see the likes of Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis on the trading block before this season it out.

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