Dan Duquette is the current GM of the Baltimore Orioles.
Dan joined Ken & Steve this morning to talk about the Orioles trading closer Jim Johnson.
The Orioles traded Johnson who led the league in saves the past 2 seasons to the Oakland Athletics for minor league 2nd baseman Jemile Weeks.
Steve asks: Why the trade?
Dan: Jemile Weeks is a switch hitter and a young kid. He did well when he came in and did well last year at triple A. He’s a top draft pick and his brother Rickie played. For Jim that was a tough choice. He did a really good job the last couple of years but these things are more about resource allocation and being competitive year in and year out and we can now reinvest the money that would have gone to Jim Johnson. It’s not just Weeks for Johnson, we get the money back in our payroll that we would have spent on Johnson.
Ken: What’s your respond to report of the trade just being a salary dump?
Dan: If there was a more significant player then the Orioles would have gotten them. They are a lot of option on the market for closers and it is rare you see a closer get paid 10 mil.
Steve: Who closes next year?
Dan: That’s the same question we had March 2012 and the club was able to identify it and Jim stepped up and that’s where a lot of teams find their closers, someone steps up. Trading Johnson was difficult on a personal level.
Steve: Tommy Hunter closer can he stand work load?
Dan: I think everyone is different. Tommy has showed at times he can pitch back to back. Hopefully we will have enough depth in the bull pen. I’m confident we can find a solution to that. We had a lot of other players who did well and that money that is going back into our pay roll will be able to go toward keeping players we have.
Ken: What ares improve?
Dan: Still looking for help in left field and we would also like to sign some other pitchers.
Steve: Does this close the door on Brian Roberts?
Dan: I wouldn’t say that. Weeks had showed durability when he played center field and he runs well against right handed pitching.
Steve: Can team take payroll to 120 million?
Dan: I don’t think free agency is the way to build a strong team. I think you need good player development. We are expanding pay roll and I would expect that to continue because we have an identifiable team. The teams going in the right direction and we can be competitive.
Steve: How will we add to the rotation?
Dan: I like our rotation as it stands now better than I did last two years but we hope to go out and get another good experienced starting pitcher.