BALTIMORE — Nearly 10 years after being fired as the Boston general manager, Dan Duquette was introduced to the media in Baltimore this morning as the team’s new executive vice president of baseball operations, talking to a crowded room that included media and many members of the Orioles organization.
Duquette, 53, spent much of his 30-minute session at the podium discussing his plans to beef up the Orioles’ player development and international scouting operations, indicating that a big-name, big-budget signing might not be the priority at this stage.
“When you don’t have the resources that the top two clubs have, you have to work harder and you have to work smarter and you have to do a better job in scouting and you have to do a better job in player development,” Duquette said. “If you can build up the inventory of your farm system and you’ve got core players coming to your major league team you’ve got something to talk about.
“And the team that’s got the best farm system is the team that competes year in and year out. So irrespective of your market size, it all starts with signing good players and bringing them up to your team.”
He added, “When it’s indicated, when your club is in a position when you can get over the top, when you can get a player that will be a core player for a long period of time, I think that’s the right time to go into the free agent market. Personally I don’t know that it’s a terrific use of the club’s resources to go into the free agent market just to say that I’m out there in the free agent market and I’m signing players.
“I believe that our fans understand that, I really do. I believe the Oriole fans know that our best players are going to have to come up through our farm system.”
Duquette, who contacted the Orioles about their opening, clearly understands some of the issues he had in Boston, with one of those being a demeanor that didn’t go over well, something that has helped to tarnish his reputation.
When asked what he would do differently than he did in Boston, Duquette joked that he was going to be “kinder and friendlier.”
Duquette did have one misstep in his press conference. About 10 minutes into it, during his lengthy opening remarks, Duquette made mention of building a contending club “here in Boston.”