Blue Jays announce Paul Beeston to stay on through 2015 season

One day after a report that the Toronto Blue Jays no longer sought to negotiate a deal for Orioles executive Dan Duquette, the team announced tonight that Paul Beeston has signed a new contract to continue as its president and CEO.

Beeston has signed a deal that will run through the 2015 season and he will retire at the end of the season, according to a press release from the team.

duquette-media-sidebar.jpgDoes this mean the end of Toronto’s pursuit of Duquette? It appears it does, at least for now, although the team will be in the market for a new president and CEO after the coming season.

“Paul is one of baseball’s greats, whose passion for - and commitment to - winning is unparalleled. He is a proud Canadian and we’re proud to have him lead Canada’s team for the upcoming season,” said Blue Jays chairman Edward Rogers in a statement. “We have been in discussions with Paul about his future with the team since his contract expired in October. There were many rumors flying about, but it would have been inappropriate to comment on such matters publicly. Make no mistake - we are elated to have Paul continue to lead the team for this season.”

Beeston, 69, was the Blue Jays’ first employee in 1976 and has been with the ballclub for 31 years, winning two World Series titles with the team. He has served two terms as Toronto president, from 1989-97 and from 2008 to the present.

The Blue Jays’ announcement said Beeston’s successor will start when he retires and that the club will not be commenting on the succession process or timing.

Duquette has not made any public comments on his possible interest in the Toronto position or the Blue Jays’ pursuit of him, but he is expected to take fans’ questions twice later this week.

He is scheduled to appear at the Aberdeen IronBirds Hot Stove dinner Thursday night at Ripken Stadium and to be at the Orioles’ FanFest on Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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