Duquette details club's desires in trade market
O's seek first baseman, DH, left fielder; Reynolds' future with club unclear
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are telling teams their priority in the trade market is at first base, designated hitter (which could be grouped together) and left field, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Tuesday there are several clubs that are potential trade partners.
"That's what we are looking at," Duquette said of the groundwork laid in last week's General Managers Meetings. "So, we will see. There's a couple teams that look like we can work with."
Duquette said the club has continued to speak with free agent Nate McLouth about a potential return and it's still unknown if veteran DH Jim Thome -- who came over in an midseason trade from Philadelphia -- will play again in 2013. While the Orioles would have some interest in bringing back Thome should the free agent decide to continue his career, manager Buck Showalter also has voiced a preference for having a rotation at DH.
With the Orioles looking to add a hitter at first base and left field, the most notable question that arises is, where does that leave Mark Reynolds?
The team has until Nov. 30 to offer Reynolds -- who is arbitration-eligible -- a contract or reach another agreement that would keep him in Baltimore. Otherwise, he will be free to sign anywhere. Reynolds resides in Arizona during the offseason and living at home during Spring Training could factor in the allure of signing elsewhere -- if he does land on the open market, which is pretty thin at first base.
If the O's allow him become a free agent, it'd be hard to imagine a scenario where Reynolds would re-sign in Baltimore, although not impossible.
Nolan Reimold, who played 15 games in left field in 2012, is recovering from season-ending neck surgery and remains on track to be a full-go in Spring Training.
The Orioles have inquired on Kansas City's Billy Butler and Minnesota's Josh Willingham, as MLB.com reported last week, with several outlets reporting that the organization is also interested in free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes.
Duquette, who took over in Baltimore just prior to the GM Meetings last year, doesn't have to play catch-up this offseason and has a much better idea of what the organization needs.
"The big thing is we have more depth to our roster," Duquette said of contrasting his job from a year ago, which mainly revolved around stockpiling arms. "We have a much better pitching staff this time around."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.