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.