Dan Duquette has been responsible for a number of huge acquisitions throughout his career and it’s looking like he might have another one up his sleeve in Baltimore.
Unfortunately, he won’t be around to reap the rewards of this addition, as he’ll likely be going the other way in the trade.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been searching for a new CEO to replace Paul Beeston for months and – in keeping with the recent trend of hiring successful general managers to high-ranking corporate positions – Duquette has been at the top of their list.
Earlier this month, Baltimore owner Peter Angelos flatly denied that Duquette might be leaving his post as executive vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles to take the promotion north of the border.
It’s understandable why Angelos would feel that way.
Duquette is under contract through 2018 and he’s played a huge role in turning around the franchise after years spent staring up at the competition. The Orioles have been to the playoffs twice during Duquette’s three seasons at the helm and appear poised to compete again in 2015.
The situation has seemingly reached a boiling point as Major League Baseball has actually intervened in the proceedings to help facilitate the deal for Toronto.
Now we’re getting wind that a deal could be in the works for Duquette to leave Baltimore, but not without compensation from Toronto.
And it’s looking as though that compensation could be significant:
Jeff Hoffman straight-up for Dan Duquette, huh?
I’m not going to lie, I’d be hard-pressed to think of anyone else on Baltimore’s current 25-man roster that could land Hoffman straight-up in a trade. Manny Machado, maybe? Dylan Bundy, maybe? That’s it…two maybes is as close as I can get.
Needless to say, that’s a pretty solid return for Baltimore and a tremendous coup for whomever may end up taking Duquette’s job in Baltimore.
Hoffman, 22, was taken ninth overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. He would have gone higher, but he was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time.
Yes, you read that correctly, he was taken in the top ten despite having just undergone a ligament reconstruction. He’s that good.
He is currently ranked as the Blue Jays’ number three prospect by Baseball America and is widely-believed to have front of the rotation potential.
Prior to undergoing surgery Hoffman had mid-90s velocity and could routinely amp it up to 98 mph when necessary. His curveball and changeup are both viewed as plus-pitches by scouts and he has a slider that is still a work in progress, but can be devastating when he’s locked in.
Oh and if that wasn’t enough, he’s received rave reviews for his ability to command his vast arsenal of overpowering pitches.
If Hoffman is – in fact – the return for Duquette, we won’t officially know for months as he’s unable to be traded as anything more than a “player to be named later” given that he was just drafted in July.
The Duquette-to-Toronto saga has drawn on long enough for most fans and, undoubtedly, for both clubs as well.
I think it’s safe to say, that with spring training just weeks away, it needs to be wrapped up soon, one way or another.