Orioles may receive top prospect in possible Dan Duquette deal
By Mike Franz
Friday, January 23, 2015. Another day full of speculation of whether or not the Baltimore Orioles will actually deal their executive vice president Dan Duquette to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Although odds of Duquette leaving for Toronto are not definite or even probable at the moment, it is a possibility—that we do know. We also know the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos will not be willing to part easily with their executive vice president who has made quite a legacy for himself since arriving here in Baltimore just a little over three years ago. Angelos wants just compensation from the Blue Jays.
ESPN’s very own Buster Olney tweeted this afternoon that if the Toronto/Duquette deal goes through then compensation will be “substantial” indicating that Toronto’s No. 4 prospect Jeff Hoffman could be headed to Baltimore.
The former East Carolina University star was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round (9th pick overall) in the MLB Draft this past June. It is well documented that Hoffman underwent Tommy John surgery in May of last year.
And while he has not thrown a pitch of pro ball, his numbers were note-worthy in college. Hoffman produced a career 3.27 ERA with 80 walks and 211 strikeouts in 44 games (35 starts). He also pitched one complete game and two shutouts in his three years as a Pirate.
Hoffman recorded a career-high in strikeouts in his last collegiate game when he fanned 16 batters on April 17, 2014.
Although the right-handed pitcher has a strong fastball that reaches speeds of up to 98 mph, his hard-breaking curveball can leave batters scratching their heads in wonderment once Hoffman is done with them.
If Hoffman came to Baltimore, he will most likely become their No. 2 prospect almost immediately, just behind right-hander Dylan Bundy. The 22-year-old is expected to make his pro debut in 2015 and whether that will be in the Orioles’ farm system or the Blue Jays’ remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure. The simple fact that these compensation talks have surfaced shows that the Orioles are open to negotiations with the Blue Jays for Duquette and they are not going to deal him away for cheap either.