Report: There’s some friction with Orioles management

Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images
11 Comments

The Orioles are on the fringes of the AL Wild Card race with just 10 games remaining. With a big offseason awaiting, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that there’s some friction among the higher-ups in the franchise.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter says all is well. So does general manager Dan Duquette. But officials both inside and outside the Orioles’ organization say the tension in management is reaching a breaking point.

The question is how that tension will be resolved.

Showalter is frustrated with Duquette and wants greater involvement in personnel decisions, sources say. The team, in the view of at least one club official, cannot continue with the same organizational structure.

“If it doesn’t change, it will be a disaster,” the official said.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com detailed similar issues earlier this month.

The seeds of tension were planted last offseason when Duquette wanted to pursue the team president job with the Blue Jays, a post which has since gone to former Indians executive Mark Shapiro. However, Orioles owner Peter Angelos made him honor his contract. The pursuit had some in the organization questioning Duquette’s “loyalty.” Meanwhile, Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis signed elsewhere and Duquette’s attempts to replace them were a flop. Other issues include the team’s lackluster farm system and the influence of pitching development director Rick Peterson.

Showalter and Duquette are both under contract through 2018. The Orioles would owe Duquette around $6 million if they let him go, which Rosenthal speculates is unlikely. While Showalter wants to be more involved in personnel decisions, Rosenthal hears that he wants to remain manager as opposed to being the GM. Something has to give here.

The tension between Showalter and Duquette comes at a crucial time for the franchise. Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen, and Darren O'Day are all due to become free agents this offseason.