Duquette agrees to terms (updated)
The Orioles’ general manager search is finally over, as former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette agreed to terms Sunday afternoon to fill the position vacated by president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
The news, first reported by ESPN’s Jim Bowden, was confirmed to MLB.com by multiple sources. Duquette is expected to be officially introduced in Baltimore at a press conference on Tuesday and the exact terms of his contract were not immediately known. A separate source close to negotiations said the two sides were close to finalizing the deal, and expected it to be done late Sunday night or Monday morning, at the latest.
The 53-year-old Duquette –who has been out of baseball since 2002 – was not formally offered the position until Sunday, which was the third meeting he had in regards to the position, although he had emerged as the favorite in the days leading up to that.
Duquette first interviewed Friday and flew back to Baltimore to meet with –among others – principal owner Peter Angelos on Saturday afternoon. He met with the Orioles’ brass again on Sunday morning, with the expectation being he would leave with the job. The only other candidate who was believed to have met with the interview committee twice was Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava who was offered the position Tuesday, but declined.
Duquette served as farm director for the Expos from 1987-91 and was the general manager from then until ’94, when he was hired by the Red Sox. He traded for pitcher Pedro Martinez twice, in one of his most notable moves, and also acquired Derek Low and Jason Varitek in a trade. As Boston’s GM, Duquette signed Manny Ramirex and Johnny Damon and –despite being dismissed under the Red Sox new ownership in 2002 — helped lay the groundwork for a club that won the World Series in ‘04.
After being dismissed by Boston, Duquette opened a sports academy for children in Hinsdale, Mass., where he has spent the majority of his time. He also interviewed for the Angels’ GM vacancy last month and had expressed an interest to get back into baseball’s front office to those close to him.
The Orioles were impressed with Duquette’s contacts and connections in the game, and his background in scouting and player development — as well as a heavy presence in Latin America and Asia — are major pluses for a farm system in dire straits. Baltimore’s scouting and player development system has come under increasing scrutiny and the club has been unable to keep pace in the international market, a key aspect of trying to succeed with a lower payroll in the American League East.
It is unknown who Duquette will bring with him to join Baltimore’s staff, although he will have a heavy say in finding a new scouting director, with Joe Jordan leaving for Philadelphia. He is expected to work closely with manager Buck Showalter –who places heavy value on scouting and player development – and the Orioles will now shift their attention toward solidifying their Major League coaching staff, Minor League operations and baseball’s free agency period, which started on Thursday.
The cousin of former Orioles GM Jim Duquette, Dan Duquette was the sixth candidate to interview, coming on the heels of Thursday’s meeting with Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock. Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson (who took his name out of contention), Jerry Dipoto (who took the Angels’ GM vacancy) and O’s director of player development John Stockstill also interviewed.