Despite strong statements Wednesday from Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos that the club is not intent on allowing executive vice president Dan Duquette to leave to become president of the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles have compiled a list of Plan B options in case Duquette departs.
According to an industry source, that list -- compiled in the past month -- includes four high-profile former general managers: Ned Colletti, Kevin Towers, Omar Minaya and Kevin Malone, who spent a few years in the mid-1990s as an Orioles assistant general manager.
If Duquette were to leave – and Angelos was adamant Wednesday that he expects the 56-year-old to honor his contract that runs through 2018 – the most likely scenario is that manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson would pick up more responsibilities involving personnel decisions. The duo has worked closely with Duquette in the past few years to shape the club’s roster.
But if Duquette exits this offseason, the Orioles likely would need to hire someone in 2015 -- potentially under Anderson -- who could handle other administrative/general manager-type duties.
Each of the four Plan B options has an extensive front office background, and none are in a position of authority with a big league club.
At this point, it’s believed the list is just a preliminary blueprint, and that the potential candidates have not been contacted to gauge their interest in a possible Orioles job. Obviously, a top-level post wouldn’t be available if Duquette remains with the team.
Colletti, 60, was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from November 2005 through the 2014 season, and his teams boasted the highest winning percentage of any National League club during that period.
However, he was reassigned to a senior adviser post this offseason when the Dodgers hired new president Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
Towers, 53, was dismissed as general manager by the Arizona Diamondbacks this season after joining the organization in 2010. He was the San Diego Padres’ GM from 1995 until 2009 and led the Padres to the playoffs four times.
Malone, 57, spent parts of four seasons as general manager of the Dodgers from 1998 to 2001. He succeeded Duquette as the general manager of the Montreal Expos in 1994. He was an assistant GM with the Orioles under GM Pat Gillick from 1996 to 1998. Malone has been out of the pro baseball spotlight since 2001, concentrating on business ventures and a ministry degree.
If Duquette were to leave, the Orioles also could look into promoting someone from within to assist Showalter and Anderson.