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With Trading Deadline Approaching, Dan Duquette Says Orioles Can Still Contend

July 22, 2017
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, along with manager Buck Showalter addressed season-ticket holders July 22, and while there are reports the Orioles are willing to consider offers for left-handed closer Zach Britton and right-handers Brad Brach and Darren O'Day, Duquette wouldn't get into specifics.

"Whatever we do we are going to try and help the club. I still like a lot of our core players," Duquette said. "I don't believe this stuff that says we have half the club on the market because we have a lot of baseball left to be played."

Because of rain, the scheduled half-hour talk was ended 10 minutes early, but Duquette began by saying he thought the Orioles could still qualify for the postseason.

"I still have hope for this year's club. I have a lot of confidence in the guys we have," Duquette said. "We can still make a run."

Besides the three relievers, the Orioles could see to move catcher Welington Castillo, outfielder Seth Smith and left-handed starter Wade Miley by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Duquette said he was disappointed in the team's starters, but also said he was excited by the progress of right-hander Dylan Bundy and hoped right-hander Kevin Gausman could be more consistent.

"We're going to see what we can do to get some pitching here," Duquette said. "There's just not enough to go around."

Duquette defended the Orioles' farm system, mentioning that left fielder Trey Mancini had been a product and cited Ryan Mountcastle who this week was promoted from Class-A Frederick to Double-A Bowie and moved from shortstop to third base as well as Bowie outfielder Austin Hays.

A team called the Orioles about Australian left-hander Alex Wells, who's pitching at Low-A Delmarva, and Duquette said the Orioles were fielding many calls about left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott, who's at Bowie. Duquette was asked about a possible extension for All-Star second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who remains under team control through 2019. He pointed out that Schoop, who's earning $3.48 million this season, will merit a large raise next season.

"Actually, we discussed that earlier in the offseason," Duquette said about the extension. "That's certainly something we can consider."

WRIGHT STUFF: The Orioles activated right-handed pitcher Mike Wright from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.

Wright had been suffering from bursitis in his right shoulder.

He pitched for Gulf Coast July 22, and picked up the win by pitching two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.

In three rehab outings for Gulf Coast, Wright allowed five runs, four earned on eight hits in 4.1 innings.

In five games with the Orioles, Wright has a 5.56 ERA, and Showalter said he thought Wright would pitch in relief for Norfolk since the Tides already have five starters. He'd be more readily available to help the Orioles if he pitches in relief with the Tides.

"Hopefully we will discuss that," Showalter said.