BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the Orioles continue to try and put together their roster for the upcoming season, personnel decisions in spring training come daily and they can come quickly. Dan Duquette is the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and decision maker of the O’s, and he has decided that this year the team is good enough to make another run at the playoffs.
Duquette enters his seventh season as the head of the Orioles’ front office, coming off a losing year for the first time during his tenure, and headed for a season of uncertainty.
“This club is really at a crossroads. We’ve got a number of players that are free agents this year that have a lot at stake,” he told WJZ’s Mark Viviano.
Duquette himself may have a lot at stake as he enters the final year of his contract. And while this year’s Orioles team is predicted by many experts to miss out on the playoffs again, Duquette discounts those doubters.
“The difference between winning and losing is two, three, four plays a game,” he said. “If you have the depth, if you get a break, if you have a pitcher come through, if you sign a player that has a big year, if you have players in the last year of their contract that perform above what they’ve done earlier in their career, you don’t know what can happen. So I think at this point in the year, we should have hope.”
While Duquette clings to hope, others in baseball say the O’s should trade off their free agent assets and start over, a plan that’s been successfully executed by the last two World Series champions — the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m not really into the rebuilding part. In the American League East, I don’t know who rebuilds,” he said. “It’s more like you reload and you get in there and you slug it out with the big market teams. It’s very, very difficult to throw up a towel and say, ‘Oh, we’re going to rebuild.’”
Viviano asked Duquette about his future as his contract winds down. He said the one thing that’s eluded him in his career is a championship, and that’s something he’d like to achieve with the Orioles.