Dan Duquette Rumors
The Orioles are looking for a backup catcher, an outfielder, starting pitching and relievers, executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Duquette hopes to make trades and sign free agents in the near future to address the team’s needs. Here are the details:
- The Orioles like Mark Reynolds’ defense better at first than at third. Duquette continued to downplay the likelihood of a major expenditure at first.
- Expect Matt Antonelli and Chris Davis to contribute at third base in 2012, though Duquette endorses the players in considerably different ways. "He looks like a ballplayer. He's got a good look about him, and he's a former No. 1 pick,” Duquette said of Antonelli. “If you take a look at Bill James' projections, they're projecting Davis to slug at .500 next year,” he said of Davis. Duquette added that he expects Antonelli to be healthy and likes his ability to get on base.
- Manager Buck Showalter prefers to rotate players in and out of the DH spot and Duquette will “be guided by [the manager's] preference." Don’t count on David Ortiz signing in Baltimore. “A 36-year-old DH would be a luxury for us," Duquette said.
- The Orioles will attempt to trade for a backup catcher and they have offers out to some minor league free agents, according to Kubatko (Twitter link).
- Earlier today, Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles have expressed interest in free agent Jason Varitek.
The Orioles officially introduced Dan Duquette as their GM today. Let's round up the latest from his press conference, plus more from Charm City...
- "This is right up my alley, turning around a ballclub and building a farm and scouting system," said Duquette to reporters (including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli) at today's press conference. "This is what I love to do. This is a great opportunity. I'm thankful for it, and I'm ready to go to work."
- “Dan had a real grasp of where we were as an organization,” said manager Buck Showalter to reporters (including CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff). “He’s always been on everybody’s lists.”
- In an Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney provided some quotes from former Expos and Dodgers GM Kevin Malone, who worked with Duquette in Montreal. "The Orioles made an excellent decision in hiring Dan Duquette," he said. "[He's] a talented, proven and experienced GM that knows how to build winning and successful ML teams and organizations."
- "I don’t know that it’s a terrific use of the club’s resources to go into the free-agent market just to say that I’m out there," said Duquette to The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel when asked about possibly signing Prince Fielder or C.J. Wilson.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier looked back at Duquette's drafts with the Red Sox, the team he ran from 1994-2001. He brought Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Youkilis, and others into the organization.
4:11pm: CSNBaltimore's Rich Dubroff reports that Duquette's contract is expected to be a three-year deal.
2:18pm: After nearly ten years away from the game, Dan Duquette is coming back to baseball. The Orioles and Duquette have agreed to a deal that will make him their new general manager, according to Jim Bowden (on Twitter). Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com agrees, stating that the two sides are merely "dotting the I's and crossing the T's" at this point (Twitter link). Bowden says that a press conference to announce the move could come as soon as tomorrow.
Duquette, 53, served as the general manager of the Expos from 1991-1994 and then GM of the Red Sox from 1994-2002. As a GM, Duquette twice traded for Pedro Martinez (once with Montreal and once with Boston), acquired Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek in trade, and signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon as free agents. Before becoming GM of the Expos, he oversaw the team's farm system, which produced Vladimir Guerrero and Cliff Floyd, among others. Other major credits on his resume include drafting Nomar Garciaparra and leading the Red Sox to an AL East title in 1995 and back-to-back playoff appearances in 1998 and 1999 as the American League Wild Card winner.
Prior to being hired by the Orioles, Duquette had interviewed for the GM opening with the Angels that was later filled by Jerry Dipoto.
MLBTR's Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
- The Orioles won't allow Duquette, who is meeting with owner Peter Angelos tonight, to leave Baltimore without a contract. The O's let Blue Jays exec Tony LaCava return home before making their offer, which LaCava eventually declined.
- Duqette is unlikely to object to retaining some personnel, opines Kubatko, considering he hasn't worked in the Majors since 2002.
- Angelos wanted to avoid hiring a GM who had recently been fired by another team, a source tells Kubatko.
- Former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, who was relieved of his duties in September 2007, came up in conversation, but his dismissal was deemed too recent, tweets Kubatko.
- If Duquette is hired, he'll have to hire a new scouting director and a minor league pitching coordinator. Both positions are presently vacant.
- The Orioles would be taking a risk in hiring Duquette, opines Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, but he could give them exactly what they need considering his success as the GM of the Expos and Red Sox, and his background in player development.
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders whether the O's will sign free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. After 14 consecutive losing seasons, signing Prince would show that the O's are serious about winning again, opines Dubroff.