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Blue Jays announce Paul Beeston will return for 2015, retire after season

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Monday night that Paul Beeston will return for the 2015 season as the club's president and chief executive officer.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced Monday night that Paul Beeston will return for the 2015 season as the club's president and chief executive officer. (David Duprey, Associated Press)

The Toronto Blue Jays made their first public statement regarding their team president and chief-executive-officer position Monday evening, announcing that Paul Beeston will remain in the position for the 2015 season.

The announcement seemingly ends the team's pursuit of Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, at least for now. It also comes one day after a Sportsnet.ca report that the Blue Jays had pulled out of compensation talks with the Orioles that would allow Duquette, who is signed through the 2018 season, out of his contract.

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"We have been in discussions with Paul about his future with the team since his contract expired in October," Blue Jays chairman Edward Rogers said in a news release. "There were many rumors flying about, but it would have been inappropriate to comment on such matters publicly. Make no mistake — we are elated to have Paul continue to lead the team for this season."

Reports first surfaced last month that the Blue Jays were looking for an immediate successor to Beeston, and Duquette emerged as one of the team's top candidates. Beeston originally was set to retire after the upcoming season, but it appeared that Toronto might replace him before then since his contract expired after the 2014 season. With this one-year extension, he will retire at the end of this season.

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Now, the Blue Jays have an entire season to formulate a plan for Beeston's successor, which doesn't take Duquette out of the mix entirely.

Initially, Orioles managing partner Peter G. Angelos firmly said he expected Duquette to fulfill the length of his contract. After Duquette made his desire for the job known, the Orioles became more amicable to discussing a compensation package to allow Duquette out of his deal, but the teams were never close on a compromise.

NOTE: The Orioles have signed outfielder Jake Luce to a minor league deal. Luce, 25, spent last year playing in two different independent leagues, hitting .313/.372/.453 with seven homers and 42 RBIs in the United League and American Association. The Orioles will evaluate Luce in minor league camp, and he likely will start in High-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie.

eencina@baltsun.com

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twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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