As you have by now read on this site and elsewhere, Jeremy Guthrie was traded by the Orioles to Colorado. In exchange, the O's received a starter, Jason Hammel, who is 29, and a reliever, Matt Lindstrom, who is 31. At 12:30pm today the O's had a conference call for the media with Dan Duquette and also the two newest members of the O's. Yours truly had the opportunity to listen in. The conference lasted about half an hour. There's a lot of stuff that gets asked and answered that I get the feeling is boilerplate stuff. Here are some of the highlights:
* Duquette cited several times that both Hammel and Lindstrom can be under team control for 2013 as a reason in favor of making the trade.
* He was asked if, while exploring trades, he had the opportunity to get young and upcoming prospects instead. "We didn't have any offers of young prospects."
* Duquette likes calling everyone "a dependable pitcher"; he referred to Guthrie this way as well as Hammel and Lindstrom. Then he mentioned Hammel's past 3 years of 177, 178 and 170 IP. Is that where the bar is set for dependable? Hammel doesn't seem to have spent time on the DL. He makes starts, just doesn't average 6+ IP.
* At one point, Duquette cited K/BB ratios as being a strength of the players acquired. He described them as having ratios "approaching" 3:1. Hammel's career K/BB is 2.01. Lindstrom's career K/BB is 2.12. Guthrie's career K/BB is 2.06. I am not sure that is how I would deploy the word "approaching."
* This fact was not referenced on the conference call (probably because the players themselves were also listening), but Guthrie has settled for $8.2M with Colorado. The combinination of the salaries of Hammel and Lindstrom is $8.35M.
* Duquette's favorite evasive answer is to say that he "can't comment on players on other teams rosters." I have to admit I am not sure at what level this injunction exists. He wouldn't take the bait on questions about the name of Eric Young Jr. possibly having been mentioned in the trade talks with Colorado, and also when asked about the possibility of re-acquiring Koji.
* Duquette said he "would still like to strengthen the bullpen between now and spring training." I would still like some winning lottery numbers.
* He talked about wanting to have "a set of reinforcements to develop in AAA for the big league team." Is this going to be the new cavalry thing? The reinforcements, it seems, are going to be the pitchers who still have minor league options. The impression I get is if the choice is between two guys otherwise equal, the one with the option is going to AAA. As to who is going to be in the rotation, Duquette said you'd have to ask Buck, who was not on the call.
* There was one question asked about the Orioles' level of interest in Manny Ramirez. Duquette expressly DID NOT rule out the possibility of the O's acquiring him. This was the answer: "We're aware that Manny's on the market, we've had some exploratory talks with his agent, we have seen him work out, but we're still considering the composition of this club and some of the challenges of integrating a player like Manny into our ballclub and market. That's really all I can say about it right now."
I think that about covers the interesting parts. I listened to the whole call and have some notes that I didn't include in this post, so if you have any other questions feel free to ask in the comments and I'll answer them if I can.