Duquette says Orioles will cut payroll as team rebuilds - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Duquette says Orioles will cut payroll as team rebuilds

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—In the midst of an announced rebuild and just three days before the non-waiver trade deadline,  Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette told a group of season-ticket holders that the Orioles will redirect resources from the major league team to scouting, the international market and player development.

Duquette and manager Buck Showalter answered questions for a half-hour. Although no one asked if they planned to trade Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop or Kevin Gausman, there was plenty of interest in the rebuilding program Duquette described after the July 18 trade of Manny Machado.

‘The last couple of years we took a lot of resources from the company and put them into the major league team,” Duquette said. “That was an ownership decision to try to extend the competitive window of the current group of players.

“What we learned … is that you have to invest significantly in all your talent areas.”

The Orioles enter Saturday with a 30-74 record, the worst in the major leagues. Duquette said that as the team rebuilds, the team’s payroll — which was about $148 million on Opening Day, according to Cot’s Contracts — will be reduced even more. Last year, the Orioles ended the season with a payroll of nearly $180 million.

“We’re going to invest enough to develop a competitive major league team, and I would expect the club will take the payroll down next year and the year after and reinvest those resources,” Duquette said.

One fan asked why the team had neglected international scouting.

“Ownership understands that we’ve been putting a lot of resources into the major league payroll, and probably more resource than the market will sustain,” Duquette said. “We did that to keep the core of the team together … now, things are different. They’ll invest heavily in the foreign market … we’ve got some ground to make up.”

On prospects, Duquette said that Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Cedric Mullins has done well this season.


“He looks like he’s about ready for a trial here,” Duquette said.

Mullins could be added to the major league roster if Jones is traded before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Duquette and Showalter are in the final seasons of their contracts. When a fan asked if they’d be back, neither answered the question directly.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. OsfansinWV

    July 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Pssst……. Hey Dan, and Brady, down the 1st base line is ALOT of $ that could’ve been saved and spent on the ones that are being dismissed to save $

  2. Borg

    July 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Let me get this straight. The payroll is $32 million less than last year so where did that money go? The party line is that they are going to build a competitive team without a large payroll? Nope. How much money is going to be directed to scouting? Whatever it is, I’d bet it isn’t $32 million (plus). Sounds like they are going to cut spending (read: increase profits) while trying to tell everybody that cheaper players are somehow going to catch the Yankees and Red Sox. That’s a sure indication that Schoop will be gone. Isn’t the point of drafting players that you hope they turn into stars? So what are the Orioles going to do, just keep getting prospects, wait until they are ready to get a bigger paycheck because they have developed into stars, then deal them for young prospects so they can do it all over again?
    Seems like you can have a competitive payroll AND a scouting department. Other teams do it, but somehow that is beyond Baltimore’s ability, it has to be one or the other? This doesn’t bode well for the next few. Years.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Borg, the season opening payroll in 2017 was $164 million. It increased to just under $180 million by the end of the season. With Machado and Britton gone, the $148 million payroll will undoubtedly drop by the end of the season.

      • Borg

        July 29, 2018 at 2:56 am

        Even using the $164 million starting point, that’s $16 million over where they were a couple of weeks ago. Machado would have cost them an extra $13 or $14 million over his 2018 salary-in other words they could have kept him here with the same payroll they had in 2017. Either way you slice it, it still looks like they are just going to start going the Machado route and trade their more expensive players off for cheaper prospects. I hope they prove me wrong and sign Schoop to an extension, but I’m betting he isn’t wearing orange and black by this time next season.

        • Rich Dubroff

          July 29, 2018 at 1:37 pm

          It’s entirely possible, even likely that Schoop won’t be with the Orioles a year from now.

  3. napierdon

    July 28, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    The fact that we have an ownership group that needed to spend $180 million and wait to see the major league team fail to understand that you have to invest in other areas is mind boggling. How can you possibly run a business like this? It’s been blatantly obvious to everyone in the league that we neglect scouting, the international market, and analytics. If we can’t find a way to balance all of that and still be willing to spend whatever it takes on the major league roster when the time comes, then we’re just watching them build a different house of cards that will collapse again

    • Camden Bird

      July 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      Agree 1,000%. I was thinking the same thing, “They’re JUST NOW realizing that?!”

  4. deqalt

    July 28, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    What we learned from all this is: 1. Orioles blew it by not spending on International players and now in a huge hole 2. No plans to be competitive the next several years 3. Dan and Buck are gone and know there gone.

  5. chico salmon

    July 28, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Personal option only, but looks like DD will be extended to orchestrate this rebuild. I think he will change managers. All personal conjecture.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 29, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      That’s an interesting scenario, Chico.

  6. OriolesNumber1Fan

    July 29, 2018 at 1:13 am

    I think both DD & Buck are back!!! They would have been fired last winter after horrible Aug & Sept. I believe PA sons are smart enough to know that both are sincerely dedicated to the Orioles and won’t find anyone better. Better days ahead!!! Keep up the rebuild, trade Jones and Brach for more prospects. Then resign Jones and Britton to stabilize the younger players.

    • Borg

      July 29, 2018 at 3:00 am

      Won’t find anyone better? Seriously? You believe that Dan Duquette is the best possible GM in baseball and Showalter the best possible manager? Where is the evidence that either one of those things is true?

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 29, 2018 at 11:05 am

        Since Buck and DD arrived 2012 – 2016 no team had a better winning %. That’s how, do the math.

        • Borg

          July 29, 2018 at 6:04 pm

          Since May 1 of last year the O’s are 92-153. That math suggests that whatever magic they might have once had is long gone. You really want the duo thaat has allowed the Orioles to play 61 games under .500 over the past 245 games to be responsible for the future? That’s your opinion, I would rather see some new blood.

          • OriolesNumber1Fan

            July 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm

            DD built the Expos and Red Sox and Orioles into winners and he’ll do it again. Buck managed & turned around the Yanks, Rangers, Diamondbacks & Orioles. I’ll go with that.

      • deqalt

        July 29, 2018 at 5:18 pm

        What manager would be better to lead this team? I agree that a new GM is possible. I also think people under estimate the ownership involvement. Peter makes life hard on both.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 29, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      Re-signing Zach Britton is extraordinarily unlikely. He’ll probably be a most sought-after free agent, and I don’t think the Orioles will be players in the big-ticket free agent market. It’s possible that Jones is back, though.

  7. Mau

    July 29, 2018 at 1:31 am

    The Emperor Clown has no clothes.

    • chico salmon

      July 29, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Dan was out of MLB for years after getting fired by the Bosox. He got the Oriole job after others turned it down. It must be known throughout MLB that working for Angelos is no picnic (see Gillick and McPhail). Dan is the right guy for this rebuild. He built winners in Montreal and Boston. Get out of his way and let him do his job.

      • deqalt

        July 29, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        I totally agree. One of DD strengths is the international market and that was taken from him.

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