6:48 PM EST, January 16, 2013
The Orioles have been full of surprises the past nine months, so maybe fans should not be shocked to learn owner Peter Angelos was so pleased with the team’s first winning season and playoff appearance in 15 years that he has locked up both manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette through the 2018 season.
The Showalter extension was expected, but it was not expected to keep him locked up for another six years – five beyond what was about to be the final year of his previous contract. The concurrent Duquette extension came out of the blue, but it makes a lot of sense since it gives the team’s on-field and front office decisionmakers equivalent job security.
In addition, it sends a signal to the fans that both Duquette and Showalter have the total confidence of the Angelos family and – presumably – will continue to have strong influence on the direction of the franchise.
If there is a possible downside to such a long-term commitment, it could relieve Duquette of any sense of urgency to double-down this year on the success that the Orioles had in 2012. Only a few weeks remain before the Orioles head back to Sarasota for spring training and the front office has done relatively little to upgrade the team.
Duquette made his most dynamic moves of the last offseason in January and early February, so there’s still time to acquire another bat to shore up the middle of the lineup, but – judging from the talkshows and message boards – the fans are getting restless.