Baltimore Orioles: Was Dan Duquette smart to stay?
I got the reaction from Baltimore Orioles fans to this column about Dan Duquette that I was expecting earlier this week. He’s not the most popular guy in Birdland these days, and while I said I agreed with his tactics, I do understand why. Most people find it difficult to look to the future as opposed to the here and now. Especially when there are competitor teams out there who are seemingly doing what they need to do to win – and the impression is that the Orioles aren’t.
Everyone wants to point to Toronto and say that they’re the model for wanting to win. Maybe they are – for now. They’re an aggressive organization, and I would submit at times too aggressive. They attempted to literally take Dan Duquette from the Orioles in a fairly unscrupulous manner in accordance with industry standards. But is it Duquette who’s going to get the last laugh?
Duquette and Showalter are big picture type of guys. And even Toronto might fall into that same category a bit because if you remember they weren’t willing to
Courtesy of Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
part with any of their celebrated prospects when the Orioles were talking compensation for Duquette. Most of the moves that they made this season in aquiring players such as David Price (among others) were heralded as great. They’ve been celebrated for the past month or so as an organization that’s committed to winning.
And for this year it appears that they are. However think back to last off season; after they seemingly pulled back their interest in Duquette it became fairly obvious that they might make another run at him this coming off season. However with their recent hire of Indians’ President Mark Shapiro as their new President and CEO, that now appears unlikely. So Duquette’s the ultimate loser in this given that he’s now the head of an organization with questions, right?
Maybe not. The Orioles have question marks going into next season for sure (in terms of the makeup of the roster), however which franchise has a brighter future in general is a very interesting question. Toronto sent some very quality prospects out of their organization in order to acquire the likes of Price and others. Where do those moves leave their farm system?
Toronto did what they felt they had to do for themselves at the time, so in that sense they probably did the right thing. If the goal is to win in 2015, that is. And yes, that should always be the goal. But the Orioles are trying to build something that’s sustainable in terms of a winner. This is not to say that the Birds haven’t dealt prospects, because they have – this year, in fact. But never en masse in the manner Toronto did.
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My point here is that if we’re talking about long-term sustainability, Duquette has a better chance at that if he stays in Baltimore. He would have gotten to Toronto and found an organization in which the cubbard was totally bare. Now keep in mind that the Orioles don’t currently have too many top prospects in the pipeline themselves, but they’re working on that. If several free agents end up walking in the off season, the O’s will get draft picks back for them. That and hitting on those draft picks among others is how you build your far system and organization overall.
The Birds will head north of the border to take on Toronto in a three-game set this weekend starting tonight. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Drew Hutchinson. Game time is set for just after 7 PM. Incidentally, the Orioles’ Dariel Alvarez will be unable to make the trip due to an issue with his American VISA. (I believe he can leave the country, however he wouldn’t be able to get back in.) So the O’s will be without his services this weekend.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: J.P. Arencibia trolling the Birds?