I learned long ago not to handicap things in this job. Because you never know what will happen to make things change.
I thought last week that there was little-to-no chance the Orioles and managing partner Peter Angelos would allow executive vice president Dan Duquette out of his contract to join the Toronto Blue Jays as their CEO and president.
Now, given some more information Thursday, I'm leaning the other way – assuming the Orioles get a compensation package they feel is worthy of the move. Admittedly that is still a hurdle right now, but not an insurmountable one.
The Orioles appear to be looking for more than one potentially significant player in exchange for Duquette. The name of right-hander Jeff Hoffman, Toronto's top pick (ninth overall) from last year, has come up (among others), and my sense is the Orioles wouldn't take him straight up for Duquette. So that gives you an idea of how exorbitant the Orioles' price tag might be – potentially too exorbitant.
That really hasn't changed too dramatically since last week. Club managing partner Peter Angelos said then that he would listen to offers, but the sense was that he would have to be blown away. Now maybe the gust doesn't have to be as strong.
Why? I think it's because Duquette does really want this job and he's expressed that to several people at the top of the organization. And ultimately, it's not an enviable position to be in, standing in the way of someone's aspirations – even though the Orioles have every right to do so.
Plus, look at it this way: If the Orioles make a legitimate attempt at compensation and can't agree to terms and Duquette ends up staying, that's a much different scenario than refusing to allow him to go in the first place. Then the reason he didn't go is also on Toronto and not just the Orioles.