This morning, the Orioles introduced their new executive vice president of baseball operations, former Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox GM Dan Duquette.
It’s fair to say the public’s reaction, at least so far, has been mixed. In fact, after nearly a decade spent away from Major League Baseball, the question most people are asking is ... who is this guy?
A more detailed timeline is below, but in its most basic terms, here’s Duquette’s history in the game of baseball:
1981-87: Scout, Milwaukee Brewers
1987-89: Director of player development, Montreal Expos
1990: Assistant general manager, Montreal
1991-92: Vice president, Montreal
1992-93: General manager, Montreal
1994-2001: Executive vice president/general manager, Boston Red Sox
2011: Executive vice president of baseball operations, Baltimore Orioles
Duquette’s baseball career began in 1981, where he joined the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the team’s scouting department. Coincidentally, Duquette worked under former Orioles general manager Harry Dalton. After seven years with the Brewers, Duquette was brought on as Director of player development with the Montreal Expos in 1987. It was there that Duquette first made a name for himself, working his way up to assistant general manager in 1990, a two-season stint as vice president and finally general manager from 1992-93.
Under his reign in Montreal, Duquette was instrumental in turning around one of the worst and lowest-paid franchises in baseball. In 1990, the Expos acquired a player to be named later as part of a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the Expos sending Willie Green and Scott Ruskin to Pittsburgh, Montreal would wind up with longtime left fielder Moises Alou. Three years later, Duquette made a big splash when he traded infielder Delino DeShields to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for eventual Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez.
During his six years with Montreal, Duquette helped assemble Expos teams that contended from 1992-94, acquiring players including Ken Hill, Mel Rojas, Larry Walker, John Wetteland, Marquis Grissom and Jeff Shaw. He also signed stars Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Vidro and Javier Vazquez and named Felipe Alou the first manager from the Dominican Republic in major league history in 1992.
Duquette was named The Sporting News Executive of the Year in 1992 and the Expos were named the Topps Major League Organization of the Year in 1993. The following season, Montreal held baseball’s top record at 74-40 before a strike cancelled the remainder of the season. From 1992-94, the Expos held baseball’s top record.
After Montreal, Duquette joined the Red Sox front office where he again helped turn around a struggling organization. In eight seasons, Duquette spent time as the executive vice president and general manager. Under his direction, the Red Sox achieved three postseason berths in 1995, 98 and 99, but his biggest contribution was laying the foundation for Boston’s first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, with players like Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Tim Wakefield and Johnny Damon. Duquette also pulled off another brilliant trade to reunite himself with Martinez. In exchange for Martinez to come to Boston, the Red Sox sent Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to Montreal.
Despite the success in both markets, Duquette was let go by new Red Sox owner John Henry in 2002 and proceeded to spent the next several years out of Major League Baseball. In his press conference Tuesday, Duquette said he used that time to coach his sons in baseball and football. Now, Duquette will attempt to turn around another struggling ball club.
As far as a management philosophy, Roch Kubatko and Steve Melewski will have much more on that and we’ll have a better idea of the impact Duquette will have as free agency heats up. For Tuesday’s press conference, visit facebook.com/masnorioles.