16 January 2015

What Are the Orioles Going to Do With Dan Duquette?

If you're getting tired of hearing about Dan Duquette and the Blue Jays, well, settle in. It was reported in December that the Blue Jays were interested in Duquette becoming the team's new president/CEO, but Peter Angelos did his best to quash those rumors, saying, "We're not relinquishing him, period. He's signed for four more years and we're delighted by the team's performance. We intend for him to remain for the next four years. We're satisfied with him, obviously."

But the story is not going away. As Ken Rosenthal noted on Wednesday:
Jon Morosi chimed in later that night:
But if any trade involving Duquette is "almost done," then Angelos has a fantastic poker face, because on Wednesday night he reiterated that the Orioles expect Duquette to fulfill his current contract. Here's more from Angelos:
"There have not been any changes in the status of Dan Duquette. He is our GM and he is going to remain our GM," Angelos told The Baltimore Sun. "He is concentrating on his efforts to determine the composition of our team for 2015. That is the answer. Period. . . . We are not negotiating with them in any way. They have expressed interest in Dan Duquette, which we understand because Dan is an exceptional GM. But we are not in any negotiations with Mr. Rogers," Angelos said. "We have a contract [with Duquette], and that’s the end of it."
Unfortunately, that's not the end of it. Either multiple reporters are wrong about a conversation or negotiations between the Orioles and Blue Jays regarding Duquette taking place, or Angelos isn't being honest when he says the two teams are not discussing a possible trade. Or maybe something is being lost in translation. The Orioles are, in fact, pretty busy when it comes to off-the-field issues right now, so this situation is not helping.

Clearly, the Orioles have a difficult decision to make. It's worth noting that late Wednesday night, Rosenthal wrote that Angelos's comments were "[a]ll part of negotiating" and that the "bottom line is that Angelos has an employee who wants to be elsewhere. And that is not a healthy situation."

Whatever the case, the O's would be wise to resolve this predicament as soon as possible. If Duquette truly wants to leave, then the Orioles should oblige. Why would a team entrust a general manager (or an executive vice president of baseball operations) to do the best job possible if multiple credible baseball sources are reporting that he is interested in a superior position with another club? That isn't to suggest, as some fans may think, that Duquette is sabotaging the Orioles' chances by refusing to make more moves this offseason. Do you honestly think that had anything to do with the O's letting Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis, a personal favorite of Angelos, depart? Do you think Buck Showalter would allow something like that to happen on his watch?

It is awkward that Duquette could leave to work for a division rival; that's likely one major reason why the O's (or maybe just Angelos) seem to be resisting. But the same president/CEO opportunity for Duquette does not exist in Baltimore; Angelos's oldest son, John P. Angelos, is the executive vice president of the Orioles, along with serving as president and chief operating officer of MASN. And he isn't going anywhere.

It's possible that Peter Angelos has discussed the Duquette topic twice and been so forceful about it in an effort to drive up the price for Duquette. But that seems unlikely, as an old-school type like Angelos, who certainly values the power of a contract, probably is not interested in playing games through the media to upgrade the type of prospects or players the O's could receive.

Steve Melewski of MASN, echoing Buster Olney, believes the O's "should aim high" if they deal Duquette away and that they could target "at least two of [Toronto's] higher-rated pitching prospects or at least one established big leaguer." That's a lofty price for a front office member, so perhaps that's wishful thinking. However, Olney returned to the topic last night:
No one knows what "an extraordinary offer" means when it comes to trading for another team's general manager. But if that somehow equates to an actual top prospect or two, then the Orioles should consider a deal, if they aren't doing so already. Duquette has certainly done a great job with the Orioles, but the O's are already in pretty good hands as long as Showalter sticks around, and it's also worth noting that Andy MacPhail did a pretty good job laying the foundation for eventual success in Baltimore before Duquette arrived. That shouldn't take anything away from what Duquette has done.

Maybe the Blue Jays believe Duquette's guidance as CEO can lead them to the promised land, or something. If Duquette wants out, then the Orioles should make a change. Then again, when you see something like this...
... then maybe keeping a less than thrilled Duquette around doesn't sound so bad after all. Or maybe we should admit that we have no idea what will happen, especially since Duquette's hiring was roundly mocked at the time. But whatever happens, just make sure he doesn't take Showalter with him.

Photo via Keith Allison


Anonymous said...

Reminds me how often Angelos has said the team is not currently for sale, but that he welcomes discussion from anyone interested to buy them.

Philip said...

Several questions come to mind. Please address them if you can:
1) why would the Jays, who already have a CEO in Beeston, be so blatantly looking for a replacement for him? Surely he can't be happy knowig he's out as soon as the new guy is in?
2) what about Anthopolous, the Current GM? Surely he doesn't like the idea of having a boss who can do, and do well, the job he is currently doing, and who will have strong opinions about what he(Anthopolus) should be doing?
3) the Timing is terrible. Changing the boss-and philosophy, direction, major personel, etc-in the middle of off-season? That can't be good for either team.
4) why look at four failed GMs as replacements? Why not look outside the box for a new face?
5) can Buck do the job of a GM and hire a new field manager?
6) is Brady Anderson competent to be a GM?

The timing of all this, and ignoring the feelings and reactions of all the people who would be affected by this, just don't seem to make any sense.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

1) I don't know.

2) I'm not sure.

3) Yes. The timing is far from ideal.

4) I don't know.

5) Maybe, but I'm not sure he would be interested in doing that. He's a valuable manager; who knows how valuable of a GM he would be.

6) Maybe, but probably not right now.

Dustin said...

While it's obviously important that a GM/President not be incompetent, I'm not sure how big of a difference there is between Duquette and someone within the industry currently bumping up against the GM ceiling. Olney has a good point when he mentions going for it, trying to extract a few top prospects from the Jays. If a new precedent is set with regards to front-office trades, the Orioles organization will come out of this smelling like a rose.

And, with regards to the potential hiring of someone new, I'd much rather see a younger, unproven guy in there rather than those on the list, who are proven to be nothing more than people who were once given GM jobs in the past. I'm not sure who 'younger, unproven' guy may be, but it seems to be more preferable to The List.

It truly is amazing how different everyone's opinion of Dan Duquette has changed in the last 3 years.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

I think your last sentence is the real takeaway. Duquette has gone from out of baseball, to respected GM, to a potential team president/CEO option in a matter of a few years after the Orioles were labeled a laughingstock for Duquette being the Orioles' fallback option. It's pretty crazy.

Anonymous said...

Well all I know is if DD goes to Toronto he has to take Ubaldo Jimenez with him-like Ubaldo for Buerhle just to help with the money. One year of 19 mil for 36 mil of UJ.

For coolness we ask for Dalton Pompei. Since he is Canadian we settle for Daniel Norris or Aaron Sanchez.

The O's have done themselves a bit of a disservice not having a young asst GM. Someone send a tweet to Andrew Friedman. They have triplicate systems going out there.

Don't think Frank Wren is on the candidate list. Of course, given that the analytics don't like us Kevin Towers could probably fit right in.

Obviously, having a little fun here. On the serious side, I don't think asking for Norris, Pompei or Sanchez is a stretch. The problem is the longer we play chicken the more cracks can start to develop.

The scouting director is a DD guy. What happens there? Free agents wonder what is happening? Confederate money again?

I would tell Toronto you have until Sunday night to make your best offer. If not accepted DD will issue a statement saying he is fulfilling his contract. Good night. If DD doesn't allow him to resign and go back to being unemployed and sue Toronto for tampering.

Anonymous said...

I'm really tired of hearing about it. Toronto is b/s for even stating they want him since he is under contract. Then again money talk and people walk....

Anonymous said...

Last go around, the Orioles stated they wanted to interview several assistant GMs and scouting directors under contract for a promotion to the position Duquette got. The position in Toronto would be a promotion for him. Same situation. This stuff happens a lot. However, most GMs would nip it in the bud or organize a deal to be elevated within the organization. Dan cannot move up in Baltimore. Sounds like he wants to leave.

Anonymous said...

It really doesnt matter what other situations are or being compared to. The O's have denied permission, not granted it. The Chicago White Sox have denied permission as well.

Therefore, if the team persists it is tampering with another team's organization. That is pretty black and white. It is also damaging that teams ability to conduct business operations.

Pretty sure Peter Angelos knows a thing or two or three in this area. While I believe he is also the hammer and may certainly allow DD to leave for compensation he isnt just letting him walk. He didnt get a contract through 2018 so he could keep leveraging the O's every couple of years.

Anonymous said...

That is not tampering. It would be being annoying.

Anonymous said...

To answer Philip's questions...
1) Beeston is planning on retiring at the end of the year if not sooner.
2) Anthopolous can't be happy about this, especially since so many of his high profile moves have failed. A Toronto reporter, on 105.7 The Fan radio this week called the Toronto front office "dysfunctional".
3) Timing is less than ideal, for sure, but it's better for us than for them. DD hasn't done anything this offseason to mess us up. You can't say the same thing about AA.
4) I don't want any of those four guys either. They have all been failures.
5) I think Buck could be a good GM but he's too good of a manager at this point and I don't know if he'd be interested right now.
6) Plenty of people in the know think he's been being prepped for this for the past few years, so if he isn't than it's just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

DD will be the CEO of the Jays. The compensation will be similar for Theo and the Cubs and JF going back to the Red Sox. In other words, Pompey, Norris et al is not happening. And AA did not screw up the offseason so far...Martin and Donaldson are both better players, that stay healthy and lead by example. The Jay's front office is not dysfunctional...at least not compared to a PA's owned team.

Anonymous said...

@Philip The son of the founder of Rogers who own the Jays got squeezed out of CEO ambitions, it sounds like the Jays are his baby now. The rumours are he's the one who has been conducting the search for a new CEO, that's why it's been handled so sloppily.

Jordan said...

Yup to reiterate the previous commenter, the current Jays President Beeston is actually not under contract and is only hanging around until a replacement is found.

No doubt AA (Toronto's GM) can acquire players like no other. But he is awful at stocking bench/role players and farm depth. Objectively AA's done his job putting a team together, but Duquette is the wiz at finding contributors off the scrap heap - Cruz, Delmon, Chen, Gonzalez, Saunders immediately come to mind. Of course Buck, Adam Jones, and the clubhouse culture had a lot to do with it too. Not sure if those same players would do as well in Toronto's toxic clubhouse lol

Unfortunately I don't see the O's netting much if they trade him to Toronto. The easy comparison is Theo Epstein who only got the Red Sox two "player to be named later" caliber guys. It's not completely apples to apples (the Red Sox were souring on Epstein), but I'd say set the bar for a Kevin Pillar-type of player.

Jay Fan for Life said...

As a lifelong Jay's fan, I can sympathize with how tawdry, uncomfortable and shabby this all feels. Totally reminds me of the John Farrell to the Red Sox debacle a few years ago. The Sox get our manager and what do we get for compensation? Mike Aviles and a couple tubes of Cruex Jock Itch Ointment.

The moral is... don't hold your breath expecting a ML ready player or even a top prospect. (Not sure we even have one...!)

The commissioner's office will decide. Don't expect a lot. We sure felt shafted when Farrell bolted for a division rival. I'm sure Oriole fans had a good chuckle over our misfortune...

So, um... suck it up.

And best of luck in the coming season!

george said...

It's really simple, if they would just ask DD if he's interested in the Jays' job. If he is, then make your best deal, wish him well, and let him go. The more Angelos stalls, the closer MLB is to stepping in and forcing a decision.

Rich Warren said...

I don't think anybody has to ask. If he was not interested he would have said so and stopped the information flow cold. Bottom line; despite the somewhat distasteful way this has occurred it is considered proper form in any business not to block a promotion or significant career enhancing move. Angelos is technically correct; he has a contract with DD and is an injured party, but at this point a scorched earth policy burns everybody and benefits nobody.

Consider the Farrell case. The Blue Jays were far more entitled to stand ground and enforce his contract because his move was lateral and it became clear he was just using the Jays to get the Red Sox job. If Toronto had taken the same view as Baltimore and forced Farrell to remain it would have been a disaster and distraction on the baseball and business side and a media circus in both Boston and Toronto. No positive outcome was possible.

I sympathize with those who feel this is improper or unethical. The facts are that such situations occur far more often than we think in baseball, other sports and in many other businesses. They seldom generate publicity because most participants accept the reality that people who want to move on are not worth keeping and that the churn caused by such movement is often beneficial to the affected business.

Anonymous said...

clearly the damage is done....compensation will be zero...once the jays planted the seed it grew into a problem for the o's....the honorable thing for angelos to do is let DD move on ...its unethical to hold him back regardless of a contract....personally I am more flummoxed by the hangingout to dry of Beaston who is a legend for the jays

Anonymous said...

Unless PA gets what he wants, DD isn't going anywhere. And as many have already stated, there's not a thing MLB can do about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote, "The Jay's front office is not dysfunctional...at least not compared to a PA's owned team."

Beeston says "Hi.

Michael Paradise said...

Have any of you ever had a conversation with Mr. Angelos? Had any business dealings with him? Had he or his firm represent you as an attorney? Well, he doesn't sit behind a desk, and put an Oriole hat on when he deals with Oriole issues. He is always an attorney, and one very tough negotiator. This is the same with law, business, or baseball. Peter Angelos grew up in the bungalows on Bear Creek in Sparrows Point because his father worked in the steel mills adjacent to that creek. You had to be tough to make it out of there and become a success, which he has done. So please pardon him if he doesn't seek approval in the court of public opinion, he knows how to work a deal.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

I did not criticize Peter Angelos on this matter and we've been more than fair when discussing him at Camden Depot, so I'm not really sure what you are referring to. It seems odd that your requirement for having an opinion or thought on something is whether you have personal dealings or contact with another person or party. I'd obviously be less objective if I had any kind of connection to Angelos or his law firm. Maybe you can clarify.