Late last night, Dan Duquette emerged from his third meeting with Orioles brass. He was finally formally offered the vacant GM position.
And thankfully, he took it.
Duquette has been out of baseball since 2002, last serving as the predecessor to Theo Epstein in Boston. It was Duquette’s groundwork that made the 2004 Red Sox what they were – champions at last – so I’m really, really hoping he can duplicate that somewhat here in Baltimore.
Here’s what we need to know about Duquette’s present status, courtesy of Britt Ghiroli:
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 strong 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.
I cannot describe how excited I am about international scouting, especially given my interest in baseball in Asia and Europe. I’m really excited to see where he, Showalter and whoever our new scouting director is take the Orioles in the future. I think maybe, just maybe, we might be on the right track for once. Maybe.