It just wouldn’t be a new week without another tidbit or two on the uncertain future of Dan Duquette in Baltimore.
Despite last week’s comments from Orioles owner Peter Angelos stating a transaction won’t take place, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations continues to be pursued by the Toronto Blue Jays, who are apparently receiving assistance in their efforts, according to a FOX Sports report:
There are a couple different ways to look at this latest development. Baseball could simply be trying to facilitate a deal in hopes of preserving the industry courtesy — but hardly a rule — of allowing an executive to accept a promotion elsewhere. One way or the other, a resolution is in order to remedy what appears to be an unhealthy situation in the Orioles’ front office, and maybe new commissioner Rob Manfred sees that like virtually anyone else.
The other more cynical view would be to wonder why MLB feels compelled to get involved in one team’s pursuit of an executive who still has four years remaining on his contract with his current club. On the heels of the 2016 All-Star Game being awarded to San Diego instead of Baltimore, baseball attempting to get involved in the Duquette saga makes some wonder if this is the latest example of fallout from the ongoing MASN dispute.
An update from FOX Sports later on Monday suggested the league isn’t actively involved in discussing any terms of a potential deal and is unlikely to force Angelos to release Duquette from his contract.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the league’s involvement has left other clubs confused as well:
As has been the case since early December, Duquette continues to add to the uncertainty as he declined to address the situation when reached by The Sun on Monday. His silence is deafening as it relates to his true intentions as he would have shot down the rumors of wanting to leave the Orioles weeks ago if they weren’t true.
“At this point, there really is nothing to say on the issue,” Duquette told The Sun. “I don’t have a comment on the issue you want to talk about.
“I will talk about it when the time is appropriate.”
When that time comes is anyone’s guess, but this stalemate can’t be considered healthy for a club that’s failed to make a significant offseason acquisition with less than a month remaining until the start of spring training.
Wanting an executive to honor his contract or at least demanding proper compensation from the Blue Jays is understandable, but continuing on much longer with a man entrusted to run the organization who isn’t committed to the job is a recipe for significant trouble.
At what point does it stop being about what’s best for the Orioles and simply become a matter of winning the fight?
Or has it already gotten to that point?