Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette today refuted a report that the organization is interviewing executives, including former Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti.
“My understanding is it’s not true,” Duquette told BaltimoreBaseball.com Saturday.
Duquette wouldn’t comment as to whether he gleaned that information in a discussion with a specific member of ownership – managing partner Peter Angelos or his sons, Lou and John.
“My understanding is it’s not true,” Duquette said. “That’s all I can tell you.”
On Friday evening, Ken Rosenthal of TheAthletic.com tweeted that sources have told him the Orioles have interviewed Colletti, currently an analyst for SportsNet LA, for an executive position. Rosenthal added the team also has interviewed others, but it has not asked permission to talk to anyone currently with another club.
Rosenthal tweeted a second time, saying that he did not know exactly what impact the interviews would have on Duquette or manager Buck Showalter, whose contracts expire at the end of this season.
The ramifications for Duquette, however, would be clear if ownership hires an executive soon — with the July 31 trade deadline weeks away and the Orioles positioned as unquestioned sellers with the worst record in baseball.
That plan has precedent. Peter Angelos hired Andy MacPhail to be the team’s president in June 2007, and placed him ahead of then-executive vice president Mike Flanagan and vice president Jim Duquette without Flanagan and Duquette knowing that a change was coming.
Duquette, however, said Saturday that he wants to stay with the Orioles and return them to a position in which they make the postseason and have a chance to get to the World Series.
He would not comment on whether he has been given assurances that he will have the chance to build this team for the future – through this season or beyond.
“You know, my heart is in Baltimore and I want to do whatever I can in my power to get this team back into a competitive position,” he said. “We have a pretty good idea of what we need to work on — we have a very intimate idea of what we need to work on. And a lot of experience and a proven track record. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. We have the people that can do the job. We’ve done the job.”
Duquette has been the organization’s executive vice president since Nov. 2011, and the Orioles have made the playoffs three times during his seven-season tenure. The Wild Card team in 2012 broke the club’s streak of 14 losing seasons.
However, the Orioles fell apart in the second half of 2017 and have been the majors’ worst team this year – partially because of a one-dimensional offense that has struggled to score.
The sense is that within the last year vice president Brady Anderson has garnered more organizational decision-making power and has been a key liaison to the Angelos’ sons, who are seemingly taking on more responsibilities from their 88-year-old father, who has been in charge of the team since 1993.