BOCA RATON, Fla. – Dan Duquette left the General Managers meetings on Thursday morning hoping that his time here set the Orioles up for trades and free agent signings.
Duquette continued to meet with more agents and teams on Wednesday night as the Orioles continue to look for pitchers and outfielders.
By Friday at 5 p.m., the Orioles will learn whether Matt Wieters accepted their qualifying offer of $15.8 million. Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Davis will reject theirs.
The agent for Chen, Davis and Wieters, Scott Boras held court on Wednesday afternoon.
Boras believes that major league players are underpaid and that the $15.8 million qualifying offer is unfair because it holds the market value of many players down. He also objects to baseball executive salaries rising without a governor while player salaries are held down artificially in his opinion.
And, the prices he pays for season tickets keep rising, he remarked.
If Wieters declines the qualifying offer as has everyone else in the first three years of the system, he’ll be free to negotiate with others, and the Orioles will turn elsewhere for a free agent catcher.
Two of the more experienced names, Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pierzynski, are reportedly already off the market.
Boras compared Davis’ stats with Alex Rodriguez’s—back in the days when he was a client of the uber-agent. Clearly, Boras is expecting a big haul for Davis, and he implied that Orioles ownership has taken notice.
Chen won’t be back with the Orioles next year, and he’ll be one of the prized left-handers on the market.
Darren O’Day has gotten huge interest from teams, including the Orioles, but it seems a stretch for him to stay, particularly when others will likely be offering much more money, a longer contract and in some cases, a more prominent role.
The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins made an interesting trade on Wednesday with catcher John Ryan Murphy heading off to the Twins for outfielder Aaron Hicks.
Hicks was a first round pick in 2008, and has hit only .225 in parts of three seasons with Minnesota. He has some power, but strikes out a lot. He’s also speedy and if the Yankees trade Brett Gardner, could be a cheaper replacement.
Gardner to the Orioles? I doubt it.
He’s owed $37.5 million over the next three seasons, and still has some decent numbers (16 homers, 66 RBIs, a .259 average with a .343 on-base percentage and 20 steals last year). At 32, he’s on the downward slope, but I don’t see a trade match with New York.
The Orioles and Yankees don’t often make deals with each other.
“I believe you have to be a little more thoughtful if you’re going to trade within your division,” Duquette said.
“A lot of times there’s good reason to trade within your division. Generally, that’s not the preferred choice, right? Because if you’re not right on your transaction you have to look at your transaction 18 times a year. It’s generally easier to look outside your division. Sometimes it’s required.”
MORE ORIOLES: O'Day continues to draw huge free agent interest