The long, winding, occasionally contradictory saga of Dan Duquette's potential exportation to Canada is finally over, at least for now. This may actually be the final answer, with a report coming out from Toronto that the Blue Jays have ended negotiations with the Orioles. That's according to one of the regular Blue Jays beat writers, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
It's news of a sort that there were negotiations at all, given Orioles owner Peter Angelos coming out and making the full-throated declaration that there would not be any chance of Duquette going anywhere. But it seems there was a chance after all, if the Jays would have been willing to part with the previously-suggested Jeff Hoffman "and two other top prospects."
That is a king's ransom when you consider that these sorts of trades are usually minor deals, but most of the time if a coach or executive is changing teams in a trade, it's not right on the heels of winning the division, to a divisional rival, when the executive has four years remaining on his contract.
If you suspected all along that the back and forth was pointless, blown out of proportion by a bored media either dying to make heat out of thin air or grind an axe against the Orioles owner/franchise, these two paragraphs from Davidi are for you:
The Blue Jays are believed to have been willing to offer a package of minor leaguers similar to past precedents - think fringe right-hander Chris Carpenter going from the Chicago Cubs to the Boston Red Sox for Theo Epstein ...
It's believed that at no point did the Blue Jays put forth any names for consideration.
Well, that was a goddamn waste of time and energy for the last month and a half. I'm just going to throw out there a radical concept: If you really, really want a baseball executive but you don't even put forth an offer or attempt to negotiate for him, maybe you didn't really want him after all.
Kinda gives some support to the notion that all of this was just some grand scheme to wreck the harmony in the Orioles organization.
Though all of this seems to the outsider to be about as blatant of a case as tampering as could be possible, MASN's Roch Kubatko wrote on his blog earlier Sunday that the chances of a tampering charge sticking to the Jays were "slim to none."
Of course, as of this morning, Rob Manfred, the person whom the Orioles believe presided over a rigged arbitration over MASN rights fees, is now baseball's Commissioner, meaning he would be the one to make such a decision. In the same vein as MLB thumbing its nose at Baltimore to give San Diego the 2016 All-Star Game rests this situation. Expect no favors from that quarter. Periodic antagonizing is not out of the question either.
There's also this:
Someone else asked whether its 3rd or 4th time not negotiating anymore. So for now, lets say #orioles have no knowledge of Jays intentions— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) January 25, 2015
Pardon me while I go slam my head into a wall repeatedly.