The Orioles told Bautista’s agent that they weren’t interested in signing the slugger because their fans didn’t like him, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported in December.
Duquette then appeared as a guest on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan and said, “I told the agent that, yeah. Our fans do not like Jose Bautista and rightly so. He’s one of the rivals in the division.”
Now Duquette is walking back some of his comments in an interview on MLB Network Radio.
“The thing with Bautista. I was just trying to make it clear to the agent that we didn’t want the Orioles in that conversation because I didn’t want the fans to be upset that we were trying to bring Bautista here after we had competed against him for the last six or seven years,” Duquette said on Sunday. “That kind of got blown out of proportion.”
“We’re still interested in a number of players in the market,” Duquette said. “We’ll see if there’s a match.”
Bautista, meanwhile, is said to be interested in returning to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he’s played since 2008.