The ongoing rumors about Dan Duquette leaving Baltimore to become the Blue Jays’ new team president have cast a fog over the Orioles’ offseason, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun writes. While Peter Angelos’ statement yesterday allegedly ended the matter, Schmuck notes that Duquette himself has yet to address the situation, and the speculation will continue until Duquette makes a definitive statement about his future. Here’s more from Camden Yards…
- Schmuck noted that the lack of resolution with Duquette could create tension within the front office, and according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, this could already be the case. More than one source within the organization described the situation as “toxic,” Kubatko writes.
- The Orioles are preparing a preliminary list of candidates who could potentially fill Duquette’s position if he did leave, The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly reports. The list includes four former general managers (Ned Colletti, Kevin Malone, Omar Minaya and Kevin Towers) though none have yet been contacted. If a hiring is necessary, this new front office figure would join manager Buck Showalter and VP of baseball operations Brady Anderson in making personnel decisions, and the new hire could be working under Anderson on the team’s depth chart.
- The “ball is in the hands of” Blue Jays’ ownership now, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets (multiple links), as it seems as if “an extraordinary offer” will be required to get the O’s to release Duquette from his contract. Since Duquette hasn’t come out and said he wants to stay in Baltimore, Olney notes that the remaining scenarios are that a deal is worked out between the two teams or Toronto decides to look elsewhere for its next president.
- Colby Rasmus is looking for a raise from his $7MM salary in 2014 and the Orioles aren’t eager to pay him more than that amount, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. While the O’s are still interested in the free agent outfielder, they’re hoping to land him on a relatively team-friendly one-year deal, Encina notes. It had been widely assumed that Rasmus would pursue such a pillow contract in the wake of his underwhelming 2014 season to potentially set him up for a richer multiyear deal next offseason.
- Also from Encina, right-hander Chris Tillman confirmed that he’s interested in an extension with the O’s, though he is leaving the negotiations up to his representatives at this point. “I think it’s smart to listen, and I think it’s dumb not to,” Tillman said. “You weigh all the options and go with it. I don’t know a whole lot about it, to tell you the truth. My agent called me about it, and I told him, ‘You know what? Call me back when you know something.’ That’s not me. I’m day to day. I roll with the flow.” MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth recently examined Tillman as an extension candidate.