The Orioles are close to naming a general manager, and Dan Duquette is close to getting back in baseball.
It's taken them a while. It's him a while, too.
They're taking a chance, and so is he.
Sources confirmed to CBSSports.com late Saturday afternoon that Duquette is indeed the Orioles' latest choice to replace Andy MacPhail, and that team officials were working with the former Expos and Red Sox general manager to finalize a deal that could be announced within the next couple of days.
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian first reported that the Orioles were close to a deal with Duquette.
Duquette will be returning to professional baseball after a nine-year absence. The Orioles' GM search has only seemed to take that long.
The Orioles settled on Duquette only after interviewing five other candidates, and only after first offering the job to Blue Jays executive Tony LaCava, who turned it down. Several other possible candidates also either pulled out of the running or made it clear that they weren't interested in joining an organization that has appeared dysfunctional.
That said, the 53-year-old Duquette could give the Orioles exactly what they were looking for. He had a good track record in both Montreal and Boston, and he has the scouting and player development background that they said was a prerequisite.
Duquette has a particular strength in Latin American scouting, an area where the Orioles have been particularly lagging.
The biggest concern is whether Duquette has lost touch with professional baseball after being out of the game so long. Fired by the Red Sox soon after the current ownership group took over, he has spent the last nine years running the Dan Duquette Sports Academy in Massachusetts, and also running a sports consulting business.
The Orioles' job is a challenge for many reasons, the first being that owner Peter Angelos can be difficult to work for. The presence of strong-minded manager Buck Showalter is also seen by some as an issue, and one of the many things that made the Orioles' GM search unusual was that Showalter sat in on the interviews and had a strong voice in the process.
Too often, the process seemed to be a total mess.
Now, it seems to be reaching the end. The Orioles seem to have found their man, and it's even possible that they found the right man.
It just took them a while.