Were the winter meetings a flop for the Orioles?


Let me start by answering the rhetorical question that I put forth in my title…NO. Many fans I know are complaining this morning given the fact that the Orioles didn’t make too many waves. However I would also remind people that Dana Eveland was the big headline that came out of last year’s winter meetings for the Baltimore Orioles. While he himself didn’t exactly blow people away in terms of his performance during the course of the 2012 season, the Orioles themselves did in fact do just that.

With a few exceptions such as Mike Napoli to Boston and Dan Harren to Washington, there weren’t as many signings or trades in general as we’ve seen in the past. That’s just how things work sometimes. Furthermore, keep in mind that the winter meetings are the first opportunity that GM’s have to get together with regard to the coming season. So I suspect that the framework of several deals across the league were set to a certain point this week, and will b consummated in the coming days and weeks. I suppose that the biggest trade that went down was Ben Revere going to Philadelphia from Minnesota, which is actually good for the Orioles given how well Revere played against them last year.

The Orioles also selected T.J. McFarland from triple-A Columbus (an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) in the rule 5 draft yesterday. Dan Duquette had been targeting a southpaw pitcher for the Orioles, and McFarland fit the bill. McFarland was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 baseball draft by the Indians, and he went 8-6 last year with Columbus in 17 starts with a 4.32 ERA. Previously he had spent time in double-A, where he went 8-2 with a 2.62 ERA in 10 starts. This marks the second time in as many years that the Orioles have selected a player in the rule 5 draft, with Ryan Flaherty being the draftee in 2011. McFarland will have to remain on the Orioles’ 25-man roster for all of 2013, otherwise the Indians would have an opportunity to claim him back.

Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Duquette also pointed out yesterday that this is a pretty competitive club as it is. That’s the type of comment that makes Orioles fans a bit nervous because it might indicate that the team isn’t looking to make any major additions. I don’t think that to be the case; do we not know by now that Duquette isn’t the type of executive that’s going to tip his hand or even remotely come close to telling you the truth? For the crew who says that’s deceitful or wrong, might I remind you that loose lips sink ships! Duquette also said that the O’s were looking to add some other pieces, so keep that in mind. The Orioles spoke with numerous teams in Nashville this past week, so if there are trades out there to be made the groundwork has been laid. The same is true of free agent signings. All of the major player agents attend the winter meetings, so if the Orioles are in on anyone odds are they spoke with his agent this week. If you’re looking for news, they resigned Nate McLouth and they’re out on the Nick Swisher sweepstakes. Orioles fans were probably expecting more, however my stance last year was to wait and see how things played out during the season after an underwhelming off season. Now more than ever (after a playoff run), I think we owe Dan Duquette that patience.