Baltimore Orioles: Revisiting the Dan Duquette situation


Foxsports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted a few things out on Wednesday regarding the Baltimore Orioles, and Dan Duquette going to Toronto – yes folks, we’re back on this again. (These tweets can be viewed on my twitter account, as I re-tweeted them on Wednesday afternoon.) As we already know, this is a story that’s been around since the beginning of December – specifically the day before the winter meetings. Having said that, the purpose of this column is not to get into Toronto’s underhanded tactics in terms of dropping a bombshell like that when they did. This is more about moving forward.

First off, I would hope that the Orioles wouldn’t consider surrendering Duquette now – in the leadup to spring training. We know that he does his best work at the end of the hot stove season, and I think that allowing Duquette to leave now would be an example of the O’s being unfair to themselves. That said, Rosenthal was very careful to say that while the sides aren’t close to a deal, the O’s might be open to it. That means that if the deal’s right, they’d do it.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

And make no mistake about the fact that the Orioles hold all of the cards here. To piggyback a bit on my point above, the Birds need to ensure that they’re being fair to themselves. They’d be doing Toronto a favor by letting Duquette go – thus the compensation should be favorable to the Orioles.

But Rosenthal’s tweets also seem to reveal that the situation in Toronto is far from perfect. So in saying that, they mean that Duquette’s brilliance might be kept at bay (at least perhaps at first) in terms of building a winner like he’s done in Baltimore. I would submit that the groundwork was already laid for the Orioles’ return to dominance when Duquette arrived, and I don’t say that in an attempt to dim his work. I say that in the sense that the Orioles organization was in better shape circa 2011-12 than Toronto’s is today – from the perspective of prospects and big league talent. So in fact, the job would be tougher.

Rosenthal also seems to indicate that the situation with the Orioles is uncomfortable. Needless to say, there are always people in any organization who aren’t going to like the boss. I’ve seen it first hand in my own life. Whether or not this means that Duquette is looking to leave town is another story. However I would challenge anyone who thinks that Duquette is purposely standing down in terms of building a winner in Baltimore because he thinks he might be going to Toronto. People don’t purposely screw up at jobs, especially people at Dan Duquette’s level in business. And for the most part, that’s a fact.

Who knows what happens, however the fact is that as I said above the O’s hold all of the cards. If I were the Orioles I would be asking Toronto for something that was previously thought to be unreasonable in such a transaction. Many people have pointed to the compensation Boston got from Chicago for Theo Epstein (Chris Carpenter) – however that should bear no relevance to this situation. First off Boston was about done with Epstein and basically didn’t want him. However again, this is a different situation. The O’s and Toronto are in the same division, and the Orioles very much want to keep Duquette. So if his services are wanted elsewhere, the Birds need to make sure that they get theirs.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos released a statement through the Baltimore media last night, and he was fairly emphatic that his expectation was to see Duquette fulfill his contract. He was also very poignant in saying that he was thrilled with the job Duquette was doing. Who knows how this ends, however losing their de facto GM now wouldn’t do the Orioles any favors for the 2015 season. But I suppose Toronto’s point would be that had the Orioles allowed this process to complete itself in December (which wasn’t exactly the prime time to pick someone else’s GM either), they wouldn’t be in this position. Kind of comes off as blaming the victim…in a way.