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Will the Orioles acquire at least one new player before the meetings end?
Yes. It's a near certainty, if only because the Rule 5 draft -- which allows a team to select an eligible player from the minor league system of another organization for $50,000 -- is Thursday. Dan Duquette (pictured) has used the Rule 5 draft in each of his first two years at the helm, bringing infielder Ryan Flaherty and pitcher T.J. McFarland into the organization. With that kind of track record, it's hard to believe the Orioles won't try again.
Now, if you are wondering whether they'll acquire someone the casual fan is familiar with, well, that's a whole different question. With the money saved from Johnson's contract and the growing pressure to show the fan base tangible roster improvement, you'd think they would make one fairly significant move soon.
But Duquette has not used free agency as a tool to do much but improve depth since he's been in Baltimore. In fact, the Orioles have not had a really significant free-agent signing since Miguel Tejada, 10 years ago this month.
If they do get something newsworthy done at the winter meetings, it likely will be a trade, not a signing. In the recent past, the Orioles acquired J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds and Kevin Millwood during the sport's annual December get-together, though those moves came before Duquette took over.
September 24, 2013