Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Did O's fans get hoodwinked?

As this past week’s MLB winter meetings commenced in Orlando, FL, Dan Duquette told reporters that the Baltimore Orioles would be adding players by the end of the week. Before we go any further, the fact is that Ryan Webb (who’s deal was reported last weekend) wasn’t officially on the roster until the middle of the week. So technically Duquette does have a new player on the roster. And if you don’t buy that one (which granted could be viewed as a technicality since the Webb situation in theory was finished last weekend), there’s also Michale Almanzar (and Julio Borbon) from Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. But somehow I think Orioles’ fans have enough savoir-fair to know Duquette meant either a signing or a trade. So here’s my question; did Dan Duquette lie to the fan base?

If you’re going by the rule of the law in terms of his spoken words, I suppose he spoke an untruth. However I would submit that he didn’t mislead anyone (intentionally or not). The fact is that the O’s had fairly high-level talks with quite a few players’ reps and they couldn’t come to a deal. One of the week’s biggest rumors is that they were the leading candidates to land free agent closer Grant Balfour, but thus far that hasn’t come to fruition. (My personal opinion is that Balfour will indeed be closing games in Baltimore in 2014.) Regardless of the various attempts, the fact is that the Orioles were unable to swing any trades or signings this past week. So again, did Dan Duquette fib to the fans? I would say that he didn’t. It would make no sense to me for a GM to make a comment like that with the full intention of doing the exact opposite. Quite frankly it would be too easy for him to be called on his lie.

Having said that, he probably shouldn’t have made that statement. Either that, or he probably should have said something to the effect that we’re going to make every attempt to have a new player on the roster by the end of the week. In this age where opaqueness isn’t tolerated (even in the best interests of the team), all people need to watch what they say because in many cases they’ll be held to that standard. My point in this particular case is that we could be arguing semantics; if the Orioles sign Balfour next week is that any different than how it would have been had he been signed during the winter meetings?

Again, if we’re going by the letter of his statement it was in fact an untruth. I would recommend that in the future he not make statements that he might not be able to back up. With that said, Balfour now appears to be looking for three years as opposed to two. My recommendation to Dan Duquette would be to give him his three years if that’s what he wants. In two years if things change they can always trade him like they did Johnson. Can the Orioles really afford to go into 2014 with a “closer by committee” type of setup? I would submit that they can’t.

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Dan Duquette

  • John Fenton

    If the loathsome owner WILL NOT spend any money (Bye bye Weiters before the trade deadline), HOW can you get good players? We’re back to sub .500 again

    • Domenic Vadala

      I think you’re mixing up what’s really going on there. Wieters has an agent who WILL NOT extend players during the term of their deal. He wants his clients to hit the open market. So if they trade Wieters it would be due to resistance in Scort Boras’ part, not Peter Angelos not being willing to spend (which for the record he did with Adam Jones). Thanks for reading!

      • John Fenton

        Yep Adam Jones 85M and Ellsbury 150M….last of the big spenders…..think Davis will remain with the club? I don’t. The owner is what is wrong with our beloved O’s who I hv been a fan of longer than u hv been alive – no offense

        • Domenic Vadala

          The time frame of your fan dome with regard to my age is superfluous. However if anything one could argue Jones undersold himself at $85 million if you put him up against Ellsbury. You can throw a ton of cash at someone but that alone doesn’t make it a good investment.
          Davis is a guy they’ll open up their checkbook to keep – guaranteed. If Boras allows for it that is.

          • John Fenton

            I REALLY hope and pray the loathsome owner DOES open up his checkbook for Davis but I have my doubts having watched how the guy operates over the past 20 years!

          • Domenic Vadala

            While I don’t know Peter Angelos personally, keep in mind that he’s ultimately a businessman. It’s so easy for fans to say that he should have paid “so-and-so” $100 million plus to play here and so forth – ultimately it’s not anyone’s money but his. Furthermore, the man is consistently the top philanthropist in the state of Maryland year-over-year; hardly someone I’d call loathsome.

            For sure the Orioles didn’t necessarily open up their pocketbooks for free agents over the years. But that aside the franchise finds itself in a rare spot now of having players such as Jones, Wieters, Davis, et al, – guys who are on the Orioles’ side and who are/might be coveted by other teams. In the past they didn’t spend to bring other teams’ coveted guys to Baltimore. However they did step up and give Adam Jones a contract extension, and even before that they in effect did the same thing with Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis. So if anything they’ve proven that they’re willing to come to a mutual agreement with “their own” when the time comes. (Like Adam Jones, Chris Davis didn’t come up through the Oriole farm system however I would submit that they’re both “core Orioles.”)

  • Chad Morken

    I agree with both of you. Our Owner sucks and we could very well be on our way back to the basement and Boras is a A-hole that is bad for baseball.

    • Domenic Vadala

      What would indicate that they’ll end up in the basement? Jones, Hardy, Machado, et al aren’t suddenly going to cease to be good.