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What to make of Toronto's pursuit of Dan Duquette

Why are the Blue Jays chasing Baltimore's general manager, and why is MLB getting involved?

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays' ongoing attempts to pry Orioles GM Dan Duquette away from Baltimore continued Monday, with Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reporting that Major League Baseball was involved in negotiations with the Jays and Orioles.

Toronto is attempting to hire Duquette as the team's CEO after his impressive success in Baltimore, where he has been since 2011 and remains under contract through 2018. Despite claims from the Orioles that Duquette is going nowhere, the situation remains unresolved, and Duquette has yet to address the rumors publicly.

The Jays' pursuit of Duquette is certainly odd, especially as it continues to drag on throughout the winter. What remains unclear are Toronto's motivations, why MLB is now involved and just when the issue will be resolved.

Why does Toronto want Duquette so badly?

A number of MLB teams have begun hiring high-profile GMs to president and CEO roles in recent years, and the Jays clearly want to do the same with Duquette after seeing the likes of Andrew Friedman and Theo Epstein land with the Dodgers and Cubs. Why Toronto is so determined to hire Duquette even as the Orioles resist is harder to figure out.

Duquette has done a remarkable job with the Orioles, helping construct a roster that has earned two playoff berths in the last three seasons, and Toronto certainly believes his experience can be an asset. Even still, Duquette's position with the division-rival Orioles makes luring him away a tricky endeavor, and it's not like there aren't other qualified candidates out there. That MLB is getting involved indicates Toronto's desire to hire Duquette hasn't changed.

How far will the Orioles go to keep Duquette?

Thus far the Orioles haven't budged from their stance that Duquette will remain in Baltimore. Team owner Peter Angelos said last week that Duquette landing in Toronto is "not going to happen" and denied the two sides were negotiating.

Baltimore's motivations for keeping Duquette are obvious given all the success the club has had during his brief tenure as GM. He is under contract for another four years, and the Orioles have every right to keep him. Still, if Duquette wants to leave, it might not be in Baltimore's best interests to force him to stay. All the uncertainty surrounding Duquette's future makes his relationship with the team an awkward situation.

Why is MLB getting involved?

With Toronto's interest dragging on, MLB has reached out to the Orioles a few times regarding Duquette's status. This isn't unprecedented -- the league's office often gets involved with issues of compensation when executives switch teams -- but it is odd to see MLB appear to be backing the Jays, something Buster Olney of ESPN acknowledged Monday:

How much MLB can really do is hard to determine, especially if Angelos truly wants to keep Duquette no matter the cost. MLB and Angelos have butted heads before, most notably over the Nationals' move to Washington D.C.

The biggest factor driving the Blue Jays' continued interest is Duquette himself, who is clearly intrigued by the opportunity -- it would be a promotion, of course. At the moment, the only way this situation gets resolved quickly is if Duquette declares he is staying in Baltimore, something he hasn't done as of yet.

As long as Duquette remains silent, the Blue Jays will likely continue their pursuit.