The 2014 MLB winter meetings in San Diego arrived. Rumors flew. Teams signed players and dealt others. Plenty of action went down.

Then, the winter meetings went, just as quickly as they arrived.

For the Baltimore Orioles, the winter meetings didn’t provide a blockbuster trade or a big free-agent signing. In fact, they didn’t provide a trade or signing of significance at all.

Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette (presumably) spent his time at the winter meetings laying the groundwork for potential future trades and/or signings. The winter meetings were certainly not a waste of time for the O’s front office.

However, up to this point, the Orioles really haven’t been able to accomplish much good this offseason. The team has lost three key players from its 2014 roster in DH/outfielder Nelson Cruz, late-inning reliever Andrew Miller and longtime fan favorite and right fielder Nick Markakis.

That leaves some pretty big holes on the O’s roster. Of course, the team has some depth in each of those areas, but it would always love to upgrade if at all possible.

The O’s did leave San Diego with a couple of Rule V draftees during the major league phase of the draft. The team selected right-handed pitcher Logan Verrett out of the New York Mets organization with the 28th selection in the draft.

Baltimore also swapped cash considerations for another right-handed pitcher, Jason Garcia, whom the Houston Astros took with the fourth overall pick from the Boston Red Sox organization.

The two pitchers will be given a shot to compete for a bullpen spot, and Verrett appears to have a better chance of sticking than Garcia does. Verrett spent the 2014 season at Triple-A (11-5, 4.33 ERA), while Garcia was at the Single-A level (3-2, 3.67 ERA).

Though the O’s were unable to fill any holes in their outfield or with a sure thing in their bullpen, Duquette alluded to the possibility of the O’s completing a deal as early as the beginning of next week.

According to this tweet from Roch Kubatko of, Duquette appears more likely to complete a deal with a free agent than complete a trade.

Even with that said, Duquette seems to prefer minor league outfielder Dariel Alvarez over many of the free-agent outfield options. He has stated he’d prefer Alvarez start the 2015 season in Triple-A but is “looking forward to Buck (Showalter) giving Dariel Alvarez a shot in the spring.”

The O’s aren’t one to complete blockbuster deals or make flashy free-agent signings, so it should surprise no one that the team didn’t make any waves over the course of the last four days.

Instead, look for Baltimore to continue to add quality depth in the hopes that a few players stick (such as Steve Pearce this season, or Nate McLouth in 2012). That’s how the Orioles operate, and it’s worked quite well over the last three seasons.

That doesn’t mean the team won’t necessarily add a player of impact. I would expect it to be someone like a Nori Aoki on a smaller deal rather than a Melky Cabrera on a long, expensive deal. Again, that’s just the Orioles’ identity.

However, that doesn’t let the O’s off the hook for now. The team hasn’t really done anything so far this winter to directly improve its projected Opening Day 25-man roster. In fact, it has lost plenty of production on paper due to the departures of Cruz, Miller and Markakis.

While the money saved not signing those guys could go to good use elsewhere, it would have been nice to see at least one of those players return to Baltimore. And of course, at least some of the money saved has to actually be used for it to mean anything.

So for right now, the O’s are receiving an F for their failure to improve their team on paper at all through the winter meetings.

But there’s still time. Roughly two months, actually. The O’s will make moves. They didn’t make their flashiest moves until just before spring training began in 2014, landing Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez.

And even now, the Orioles are still a strong competitor in an AL East with a lot of question marks surrounding every team.

I understand it’s frustrating so far, O’s fans. But remember: There’s still plenty of time.

Read more MLB news on