Orioles fire boss Duquette after 2nd straight losing season
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles have fired executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who launched a belated rebuilding effort in July after the team failed miserably from the start.
The announcement came Wednesday night, hours after manager Buck Showalter was told by the club he would not return in 2019.
Baltimore went 47-115, the worst record in Orioles’ history. Both Duquette and Showalter had contracts that expired at the end of this season.
Duquette joined the Orioles in November 2011 and put together a team that ended a franchise-record run of 14 straight losing seasons by reaching the playoffs in 2012. It would be the first of five successive seasons in which Baltimore finished at least .500. The Orioles won the AL East and reached the Championship Series in 2014 before earning a wild-card berth in 2016.
Following a 75-87 finish last year, Baltimore struggled from outset this season. In July, Duquette tore apart the roster by swapping Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and several other veterans for 15 minor league prospects and international signing bonus slot money.
Duquette’s tenure in Baltimore featured the crafty signing of free agents Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo, both of whom led the majors in home runs with the Orioles. But Duquette also signed right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who went 32-42 over the length of a four-year, $50 million contract, and Baltimore is still paying the price for the seven-year, $161 million deal offered to slugger Chris Davis before the 2016 season.
Davis batted .168 this season, the lowest batting average by a qualifier in major league history, and he struck out 192 times over 128 games.
Duquette replaced Andy MacPhail as Baltimore’s overseer of baseball operations. Before that, the 60-year-old Massachusetts native enjoyed successful tenures with the Boston Red Sox from 1994-2001 and the Montreal Expos from 1987-93. The Red Sox reached the playoffs three times under his guidance.
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