BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are in it to win it this year. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on Saturday that he has ownership's full backing to add pieces externally if need be. Baltimore entered the day 1 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East, and will approach the Trade Deadline as buyers.
"We're in contention, and we need to look at all the options we have to help our team," Duquette said. "But we have some pretty good options in our Minor League system to bolster the team that we have here."
Speaking to season-ticket holders as part of the club's annual "State of the Orioles" address before the game against the Nationals, along with manager Buck Showalter, Duquette told the group assembled that principal owner Peter Angelos "wants to win this year." He reiterated that sentiment in a meeting with the media, saying that he "absolutely" had the support of Orioles ownership to do whatever he feels is in the team's best interest.
"We are in contention, so we are going to do whatever we can to make the playoffs," said Duquette, who inherited an organization with 14 consecutive losing seasons when he was hired this winter.
The club was in a decidedly different state at the Trade Deadline the last four years, trading away relievers George Sherrill, Will Ohman and Koji Uehara, and first baseman Derrek Lee in the hopes of bringing back something for the future.
Duquette -- who has stressed building the organization by strengthening the farm system and through international efforts -- made it clear he wouldn't sacrifice the Orioles' top prospects, but he wouldn't hesitate to make a move that betters this year's club without crippling the farm system.
"I like to build an organization so that we have depth throughout the organization," Duquette said.