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Orioles' goal for offensive help unchanged

Orioles' goal for offensive help unchanged

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Orioles' goal for offensive help unchanged
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The annual Winter Meetings kick off on Monday with executives across baseball set to congregate at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

Set to take place in Nashville for the fifth time, the Meetings will feature four days of scheduled events -- including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday -- and plenty of time for teams to sit down with free agents and explore potential trades.

The Orioles head to Nashville with the goal of continuing their search for added offense, specifically in the middle of their lineup. Agents, front-office officials and reporters will swarm the hotel and work the lobby, with rumors and plenty of speculation operating on a 24-7 news cycle. Orioles.com will have you covered for all the latest developments -- big or small -- concerning the team as executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette tries to build on the success of the 2012 team.

Both Duquette and manager Buck Showalter will be at the Meetings, with Showalter holding court with the media on Tuesday afternoon. The O's skipper has made it no secret that he's hoping to add an impact bat, and Baltimore's best avenue to do that seems to be via a trade.

"Our agenda at the Winter Meetings is to try to find a hitter," Duquette said. "We'll keep working on that. It's a possibility that may happen in the trade market."

What would the Orioles part with in return?

"We also have more qualified Major League pitchers than we have slots," said Duquette, who also indicated top prospects Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy could be in Baltimore at some point next season. "All those things are good things, right? We have a surplus as perceived by other teams that we can make a trade that could help us in other areas.

"I believe we'll be able to do some good here."

It's not clear whether Baltimore will have interest in selecting a player in the Rule 5 Draft, but it's a strong pool this year and the O's have had success in the past. As things currently stand, Baltimore's 40-man roster has two open spots, so the club has some flexibility there. The O's selected and kept infielder Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs last winter, in Duquette's first Draft since taking over.

Beyond the daily coverage on orioles.com, which will address the latest rumors and rumblings as well as a recap after each day is through, there will also be multimedia content to provide a closer look at the happenings in Nashville.

Stay up to the minute by following along on my blog and Twitter -- which will supplement breaking-news coverage and in-depth analysis -- and join the discussion in the comments section below to chime in with your questions and concerns regarding what the Orioles need to do this offseason. What is Duquette's biggest order of business? How should he improve the 2013 club over the next four days?

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.

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
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