The phrase that comes to mind when thinking about the ongoing Dan Duquette saga is "sh-- or get off the pot." The Blue Jays continuing pursuit of the Orioles GM needs to either be resolved or put to bed. It seems that the situation remains in flux, despite the strongly-worded statements made by O's owner Peter Angelos. Conflicting reports continue to emerge, sometimes within the span of the same day.
On Wednesday, a Toronto radio station reported that Jays CEO Paul Beeston, whose job the Jays are trying to get Duquette to usurp, would be staying on for the 2015 season. On its face, this is not an unreasonable thing to have happen, given that it's now January 22. Opening Day is a little more than two months away. You can't have one team trying to hire away another team's GM right as a season is about to get underway. That is bonkers. And yet this absurd theater plays on.
That sounds like things are pretty well shut down, but then Jim Bowden emerged from wherever to tweet about "unconfirmed information" that a deal is "getting close." Everything you need to know about whether to take Bowden seriously as a reporter of rumors is contained within this story. Why even report unconfirmed information? Isn't it kind of the point to confirm it? Maybe Ralph told him about it.
ESPN's Buster Olney adds that if they make a deal, the compensation will be "substantial." This gives the impression that Angelos' public remarks are really just to drive up the price. Is that the case? The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly doesn't think so, or at least he didn't think so a few days ago. He adds today that the O's and Jays have discussed "significant" names, which could change the situation.
A name Olney attached to the discussion is a top Jays pitching prospect, Jeff Hoffman, who was the #9 overall pick in the draft last year. At one time, he was believed to possibly be top 5 material, but he had to get Tommy John surgery about a month before the draft. That cost him, but not too much, as he still came in the top ten. Hoffman, 22, is a righty who rates as either the third or fourth best Jays prospect, depending on which list you consult. MLB.com even rated Hoffman in its top 100 prospects at season's end, coming in at #90.
Though the Tommy John creates some risk, Hoffman is said to have high upside. Baseball Prospectus and other parts of the prospect-industrial complex consider him to have future #2 starter potential. Of course, just because Hoffman has been "discussed" doesn't mean he'll be included in any deal, but it is one interesting name to drool over and is a heck of a lot better than some junk prospect.
Also, as a 2014 draftee, Hoffman couldn't even be traded except as a player to be named later for several more months.
One other thing to dribble out today comes from MASN's Roch Kubatko, who reports that the Orioles filing tampering charges against the Blue Jays has been "discussed." MASN, you might recall, is 85% owned by the Orioles, so we probably don't have to look very far to get the source of that rumor.
Of course, the person who is ultimately in charge of ruling on a complex issue like tampering happens to be prominently involved in a lawsuit presently being pressed by that same television network. That would be incoming commissioner Rob Manfred. Don't hold your breath for anything more than a slap on the wrist to come out of that.
So in summary, the Duquette to Toronto deal isn't happening, except they're still talking about it so it might be happening, and if it does happen the names could be significant but might not be all that significant because who knows with prospects anyway. And while all of this is going on, Duquette is just supposed to keep on keeping on as the Orioles GM.
Oh, and if Duquette does leave he'll probably be replaced by some terrible retread.
Glad we've got all that sorted out.