There’s little certainty regarding the future outlook among Orioles leadership, with both general manager Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter in the final few weeks of their contracts. Duquette said last night on 105.7 FM The Fan that he’s not sure what the future holds but expressed a desire to remain with the O’s throughout their rebuild and beyond (via Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com). “My heart’s here,” said Duquette. “And I’m happy to lead the rebuild and looking forward to it. But I don’t control those things.”
Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal speculates in his latest notes column that team legend Cal Ripken could find a role with the team (subscription link). While Ripken has “no interest in managing,” per Rosenthal, the O’s did bring another club legend, Eddie Murray, on board as a special advisor to ownership. Rosenthal briefly explores a hypothetical but drastically more influential position more along the lines of Derek Jeter’s role with the Marlins, though he ultimately tabs the scenario is a “long shot.”
More out of Baltimore…
- Melewski also quotes Duquette with regard to the team’s interest in top Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa, who was recently declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. The GM declined to call his club any sort of favorite to sign Mesa, despite the fact that the Orioles have the top international bonus pool available, but he did reaffirm the Orioles’ philosophical shift on the international market and once again voice a strong commitment to continuing to add international amateurs, as the O’s have over the past six weeks. As for Mesa specifically, Duquette acknowledged some intrigue but added that the O’s still need to do some homework. “We don’t have that significant a scouting portfolio on him,” said Duquette. “We saw him in the (World Baseball Classic), so we’re going to have to get up to speed.”
- Showalter is in something of a tough spot with venerable club leader Adam Jones, a free agent at season’s end whose future with the club is uncertain. The O’s recently benched Jones for an entire three-game series on the road, in favor of younger players with more control. Jones has played more for the Orioles at home as the season winds down, and Showalter discussed the difficulties and the varying factors that play into the decisions with Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. Showalter said both he and the front office “have always wanted to play” Jones. The Orioles do need to get looks at younger players, though, and Showalter spoke broadly and somewhat vaguely about the need to balance his desire to play Jones with other factors, including what type of crowd will be on hand the day in question and whether the Orioles’ opponent is in a playoff race.