Price for Duquette may be too high for Blue Jays

Shi Davidi chats with Evanka Osmak about the package the Blue Jays would need to send the Baltimore Orioles if Dan Ducquette were to come to Toronto.

TORONTO – The Baltimore Orioles may be setting a price on Dan Duquette that is so prohibitive that the Toronto Blue Jays may be left with no choice but to walk away from their pursuit of the executive.

Promising right-hander Jeff Hoffman, the ninth overall pick in last summer’s draft, is thought to be the starting point in talks between the teams, and it might need to be more than him alone. Such a hefty package would not only defy, but totally obliterate previous precedents in compensation packages for managers or executives under contract changing clubs.

Should that continue to be the case, the sense is the Blue Jays should, and in all likelihood would, look elsewhere in their search for a new president and CEO.

On Wednesday, Prime Time Sports host Bob McCown reported on his Sportsnet The FAN 590 radio show that Paul Beeston will remain on in the role through the 2015 season, the first sign that the cost for Duquette was unpalatable.

Those who know Peter G. Angelos, the Orioles managing partner, say the only way he’d let his executive vice-president, baseball operations out of a contract that runs through the 2018 season is for an extraordinary return.

While Duquette is an accomplished baseball executive, he is by no means the only qualified candidate and it makes no sense for the Blue Jays to part with a premium asset like Hoffman plus other pieces for their new president.

Any president/CEO job in the industry is a highly coveted one, and there will be no shortage of very qualified applicants should they begin a formal search.

Beeston, the club’s first ever employee honoured with a spot on the franchise’s Level of Excellence, can continue to run the Blue Jays while a search for his successor takes place.

The entire situation remains fluid, although Major League Baseball has nudged the sides to move toward a resolution or shut down the matter.