The saga of Dan Duquette possibly leaving to join the Toronto Blue Jays as CEO is like a bad TV ad where you keep getting hit with, "But wait, there's more! (Just pay separate shipping and processing.)" You think it's all over, but then it's not and they're trying to give you extra bottles of magical cleaning solution or a hand sponge or a set of knives to go along with your new blender. What if you don't even want a set of knives? Too bad.
Our Wednesday evening update to the story comes from Tony Paul, who reports that a deal is "almost done." That follows on the earlier report from Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday, who said that the teams had discussed compensation. Paul is a writer for Detroit News and a radio host in that market, so while I don't doubt someone told him something, you do have to wonder how close he really is to the situation.
He is not the only one reporting on things moving along, though. Here's the other half of the dynamic duo of Fox Sports, Jon Morosi:
Source also told me #Orioles - #BlueJays compensation talks are ongoing, with growing optimism in recent days that deal will get done.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2015
Is that growing optimism on the part of the Jays, on the Orioles, or both? I guess we will find out. As far as the compensation, while there have been a couple of these moves in recent years, they don't tend to involve really impact names. It'd probably be along the lines of a mid-level prospect of some sort. Maybe the Jays would give the Orioles the man in the white shirt.
I don't know about you, but I'm over hearing about all of this and would like for it to either happen or go away.
UPDATE 6:45pm: It sounds like Orioles owner Peter Angelos is also among the people who just want this story to go away. He spoke to Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly:
Reiterating what he said in Dec, #Orioles Peter Angelos is NOT going to deal Dan Duquette to #BlueJays. "It's not going to happen" he said— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) January 14, 2015
Now, it's plenty possible that is all just posturing, even when he goes on to say that the Blue Jays have inquired about Duquette "but we are not negotiating with them in any way." If he keeps rejecting their offers, then they'd better up the ante if they really, really want to get their hands on Duquette.
But maybe it's all just blowing smoke; maybe the continuing simmer of this story is all coming out of the Toronto organization for their own nefarious purposes and maybe Angelos is serious that there's no way, no how that he will be letting Duquette go to a division rival or any other team at this time. If that's the case, then any time spent talking about it is just a waste of breath.
The whole saga is pretty bizarre. How can you have an entire offseason full of one team's GM potentially leaving to go to be the CEO of a rival team within that division, and it actually happens in January, long after any possible successor would have a chance to implement a plan for that same offseason?
Anybody who thinks Duquette didn't do much this offseason because he had his eye on the Jays job the whole time probably hasn't paid attention to the last couple of Duquette offseasons, which were also marked by a frustrating lack of action that nonetheless led to some decent, good, and even great Orioles teams.
Who would even be the next GM if Duquette were to leave? I thought it would be a few years before I ever had to think about it, but maybe not that long after all.
One thing that's certain is that, with the success the team has had the last three years, the O's GM job probably looks a lot more attractive to candidates than it did the last time around, when people from around baseball were rejecting the team left and right and ESPN's Keith Law infamously stated that no one with any self-respect would take the Orioles GM job. We did alright that time, thanks.