Duquette's global ambitions
New baseball operations guru Dan Duquette has made no secret of his desire to make international player development a high priority in the Orioles organization, so the pursuit of several Asian pitchers should not be considered surprising and should not necessarily be criticized.
Perhaps Duquette -- unlike some his predecessors -- simply is being realistic and recognizing that none of the best free agents are going to come to Baltimore at just about any price unless he can show them that the club is close enough to being competitive for them to make a real difference.
Of course, all that depends on the Orioles signing foreign (and domestic) players who make a contribution, and every one of the players coming out of Japan, Taiwan and Korea -- with the possible exception of Yu Darvish -- is a gamble. It's almost impossible to predict what they will do in the American major leagues, but if Duquette guesses right, he's got a chance to have a book written about him in a few years.
Maybe they'll call it "Yen-ball."