Baltimore Orioles: Is the Duquette saga over?


While I was at a movie theatre watching the movie American Sniper yesterday (a film I highly recommend), MLB Trade Rumors published this article which states that Toronto has now ended negotiations with the Baltimore Orioles for Dan Duquette. Needless to say, this has the semblance of meaning that the situation has now come to an end, and that both teams can now go their separate ways for the remainder of the off season.

I do find some humor in the article, which seems to indicate that Toronto is stepping away from the table due to the fact that the Orioles were asking for too much. Toronto apparently was willing to offer a package of minor league players which would have been consistent with past deals involving front office personnel. The Orioles however demanded pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman in return for Duquette. When it became obvious that Hoffman wouldn’t be offered up by Toronto, they backed away from the table.

Baltimore Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last April. Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The implication here is that the Orioles were being unreasonable in their demands. And if you remove the context of the situation, they most certainly were. An organization’s top prospect in exchange for a GM? I agree – that’s incredibly unreasonable. However one of my issues with society in general these days is that people seem to love to remove the context from the situation and to simply look at situations blindly. The context here is that Toronto did everything in their power to make this a very uncomfortable situation for the O’s, and they may well be guilty of tampering. So bearing that in mind, it’s entirely reasonable that the Orioles should ask for a lion’s share in return.

Who knows whether or not this is truly over and done with, however it would seemingly appear that way. Toronto’s backed away from the table in the past, so who’s to say they don’t start pursuing Duquette again at some point. Keep in mind that the Orioles play Toronto in their home opener in April at Camden Yards – would anyone put it past them to start this up again even at that time? Sounds ridiculous, but one would have thought that the act of the owner saying no several times in public would have shamed them away from even pressing the issue this far.

My recommendation to the Orioles would be to perhaps consider elevating Duquette to a more senior role in title, so as to anticipate Toronto (or maybe even someone else) making a run at him again next off season. In the mean time, there’s a very real chance that Toronto did tamper with Duquette last month. If I were the Orioles I’d at least consider filing a tampering charge with the league office. But that’s up to them.