The last time anybody looked, Dan Duquette was still the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, but the longer speculation is allowed to mount about his possible jump to the Toronto Blue Jays, the more likely he's going to jump.
That's why you're going to hear a "source" say that a deal with the Blue Jays is close every few days until there's either a deal with the Blue Jays or the Orioles figure out some way to keep Duquette and – very importantly – keep him happy.
My take is pretty simple: Duquette has a long-term contract and the Orioles have every legal and ethical right to hold him to it.
The situation, however, remains anything but simple, since it's pretty important to have your top baseball operations guy totally committed to his job and not distracted by a golden opportunity with a division rival.
Duquette and the top management at Rogers Communications remain silent, which means the issue remains open, whether the Orioles have come to that conclusion or not. Owner Peter Angelos was firm in his public comments about the situation, but that doesn't mean he isn't getting counsel from within the organization that could soon persuade him to let Duquette go in exchange for a suitable compensation package.
My gut feeling last week was that Duquette would stay and the Orioles would reward him with some kind of promotion that gives the appearance of equivalence with the CEO position he clearly covets with the Blue Jays.
My gut feeling has changed. Too much time has passed without any visible movement for me to believe that there isn't a lot of invisible movement going on right now.
Sources confirmed Thursday that there have been recent discussions about specific Blue Jays players who might be sent to Baltimore in exchange for the right to hire Duquette.
Throw in the fact that Buck Showalter met this week with Angelos and reportedly discussed the situation, and it's easy to speculate that Showalter was there to reassure the owner that the team would still be in capable hands if the Orioles allow Duquette to move on.