The still ongoing situation involving Dan Duquette, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Toronto Blue Jays is really uncharted waters for all of us. We’ve never really seen a situation like this where one team was so relentless in pursuit of someone who was under contract for another, that they were willing to go to these types of lengths to get them. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the fact is that it’s unparalleled in baseball history for the most part.
So my question is whether or not this type of action will become the norm so to speak in situations like this. What we’ve seen is a team in Toronto that was so relentless and so shameless in trying to get what they wanted, that they created an uncomfortable situation for the executive and the team. My hope is no.
I would submit that this situation sets a very bad precedent, which I hope that other teams don’t follow. The last thing that baseball wants or needs is people laying claim to other teams’ personnel by literally creating a “situation” in another team’s front office. To my knowledge, Dan Duquette was never unhappy in Baltimore prior to this arising. However he was placed in a situation whereby the Orioles were seen as the ones holding him back. And that situation was created by Toronto.
Regardless of the final ends, the outcome of this situation is already known: the Orioles have won. They either get to keep their GM in Duquette, or they’ll send him down the road for at least one prime prospect. However again, I would submit that this would not be a good thing for other teams to consider doing in terms of imitating Toronto’s act. The prevailing sentiment now is that Toronto might have to pay an even higher price – in exchange for the Orioles not filing tampering charges.
Either way, tampering charges or losing top and valuable prospects would hopefully be enough to deter another team from pulling this same stunt. And the smartest thing that the new commission could do in the immediate wake of this would be to come out and verbally censure Toronto and make it clear in no uncertain terms that this type of thing isn’t going to be seen as acceptable in MLB.