Baltimore Orioles’ majority owner Peter Angelos liked what he saw last year so much, that he’s decided to keep the two-pronged team of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette around through the 2018 season. A deal had been rumored to be in the works for Showalter for some time, and originally it was assumed that he’d get a three-year extension. Again, it appears that Angelos has enough confidence in Showalter to have offered an extra year as a vote of confidence.
The real surprise is the extension of Dan Duquette as the Vice-President of Baseball Operations (aka-General Manager). While Duquette obviously did a commendable job of putting together a team and working together with Showalter last year, I think that many people do find it odd that he’d be given a vote of confidence of that magnitude after just one year. I think what this signifies is that Angelos likes the direction in which the franchise is headed, and he wants to ensure stability at the top by locking this “team” up for the foreseeable future.
These are moves that could also help to attract potential free agents to Baltimore, as the franchise now appears to have direction and leadership in the long-term. I think this also tell the fans something about the owner of the franchise. Peter Angelos has a reputation as a meddler, and while it’s been awhile since he’s interfered with things on the field this move also shows that perhaps he’s going to continue to take a backseat. Buck Showalter isn’t the type of guy who’s going to stick around someplace long-term if he doesn’t like the direction of the organization, so that should tell Orioles fans something about where they could be headed.
In other news, by now I’m sure most Orioles fans are aware that Michael Morse has been traded by the Washington Nationals to Seattle. I’ll raise my hand and say that I was wrong, as I thought that Morse would in fact land in Baltimore. I suppose this tells us that Chris Davis is going to get a extended look at first base again this year. I read someplace over the course of the past few weeks that many Texas scouts were surprised that Davis struggled so mightily at first base last season with the Orioles, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s been able to make any improvements year-over-year.
As for Morse, given what Washington got in return for him I believe that the Orioles could have landed him. That tells me that they weren’t as big on him as many people (myself included) might have believed. I also think that Duquette is very wary of trading prospects because he appears to have a firm belief from building through your farm system. That might not mean much for 2013, but it should mean something for this franchise down the road. For those still upset that the Orioles didn’t make a play on Morse and/or that think they need to make a deal at some point, keep in mind that the Orioles have a surplus of pitchers right now. As other teams go through camp and even into the regular season, they might suddenly have some injury concerns with regard to pitching. The Orioles are then in a position of power in terms of negotiating a deal.
The Orioles will hold a press conference at 10 AM this morning (eastern time) to formally announce the extensions of Showalter and Duquette.