O's keep to-do list tidy heading into Winter Meetings

General manager Duquette seeks upgrades in outfield, bullpen

O's keep to-do list tidy heading into Winter Meetings

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will head to next week's Winter Meetings in San Diego with their offseason agenda pretty much unchanged. While Baltimore has made some smaller moves, it still needs to add outfield and bullpen help.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, named Baseball America's Executive of the Year on Tuesday, has several options this offseason. The Orioles were not able to retain free agent Nelson Cruz, who agreed to a four-year deal with Seattle this week, and they aren't expected to get in on the pricey sweepstakes for lefty reliever Andrew Miller.

So where does that leave things?

"Certainly the return of [Manny] Machado, Matt [Wieters] and [Chris] Davis will help," Duquette said, "but things don't stay the same, they are changing all the time. We have additional work to do to get our team ready for 2015."

The Orioles claimed left-hander Scott Barnes from the Indians off waivers and signed infielder Rey Navarro to a Major League deal. Duquette hopes to continue to plug holes for his club at the annual meetings, and he cited the team's starting pitchers -- which are all returning -- as a strong suit. With top prospect Dylan Bundy expected to compete for a job this spring and the addition of Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson to the 40-man roster, the O's feel pretty good about their starting-pitching depth.

"We have our rotation returning, we have our closer [Zach Britton] returning," Duquette said. "So we are going to do anything we can to have another strong, competitive team in '15. We have a lot of pieces."

The Orioles' payroll, which was up about 12 percent in 2014, figures to make the same sort of jump. The Opening Day payroll was $107 million last year and was close to $115 million when the season was over. Duquette, who hates to talk payroll, reiterated that the organization has the resources to build a winning club again next year.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.