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Orioles' Buck Showalter puts Dan Duquette rumors to bed in MLB Network appearance

Buck's quieted the frenzy for now by saying he doesn't think Dan Duquette will go anywhere. He touched on some other topics while on MLB Network, including whether Matt Wieters will be ready for Opening Day.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles manager Buck Showalter stopped by the MLB Network set at the winter meetings in San Diego on Monday afternoon. I know this is going to come as a big surprise, but it turns out that despite all the free agents the O's have lost so far this offseason, he still likes our guys.

On the biggest rumor from over the weekend concerning Dan Duquette and the possibly-open Blue Jays CEO position, Showalter put that to bed by saying that he didn't think it would happen, though not before tossing out the cryptic, "Obviously I know more than I'm going to say." Sure, Buck, but that doesn't mean you have to rub it in.

While Showalter was on the set, MLB Network put up a graphic showing a projected Opening Day lineup. They left out Matt Wieters, which prompted Showalter to ask whether someone from the building lobby had put together the graphic. Yet Showalter himself did not get 100% behind the idea that Wieters would be a sure thing for Opening Day, saying, "He's throwing a bit. We'll see about him for the start of the season."

That may seem like a setback if it's not a guarantee Wieters will be back, although this is not actually the case. The Tommy John surgery, which took place on June 17, was said to involve a recovery time of nine months at that time. There would still be a question of getting into game form in the span of about two weeks time, assuming he was ready in mid-March as spring training wound towards its end.

Things could be proceeding according to plan and it would still be prudent for the O's to have another catcher available in case there is a setback later. He doesn't have to miss by much to start requiring the O's to have another plan for the Opening Day catching spots on the roster. Even if Wieters only ended up missing a week of the regular season, they still couldn't go ahead with only Caleb Joseph as a catcher on the roster.

Is Buck worried any about the loss of Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, or Andrew Miller? "That's today's game," he told the host. "We've got our own guys." He would say that regardless of who was left on the roster, so it's not exactly news that he believes in the likes of Alejandro De Aza and Steve Pearce to replace some lost production.

The O's haven't done anything yet at the winter meetings. They're on Pacific time, so really it's only early afternoon and there are still days left after this.

One thing that did happen is that the O's lost lefty reliever Scott Barnes on a waiver claim to the Rangers. No surprise that a Duquette fringe roster movie did not survive a month on the O's roster. The claim means the O's now have 39 players on the 40-man roster, freeing them up to make a selection in the Rule 5 draft later in the winter meetings. This is probably what Duquette wanted all along.