Jays seek to replace CEO Beeston

The Toronto Blue Jays' ownership is actively seeking a replacement for Paul Beeston, the team's longtime president and chief executive officer, and sources say their search has progressed to the point where it is identifying possible replacements and reaching out to other teams in cases where they need permission to talk to targets.

One of the candidates who has been discussed internally is Dan Duquette, currently the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, who won the American League East division title last fall. Duquette was the general manager of the Montreal Expos earlier in his career.

Duquette is very highly valued by the Orioles, and given that he's under contract through 2018, Baltimore would undoubtedly ask for enormous compensation, if it even considered letting him go.

"We signed him," O's principal owner Peter G. Angelos told The Baltimore Sun. "He has a commitment for four more years, and he has done quite a job for us. We are very pleased with his performance, and we expect him to satisfy his contract. We not only want him to, but we expect him to. ... We don't want him to go away, and we don't expect him to go away. And he's given no indication he wants to go away."

The Blue Jays have also discussed Ken Williams, the executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox.

There's has been speculation Beeston might retire at the end of this year.

Beeston, 69, was the first employee of the Blue Jays, in 1976, and became the team's president and chief operating officer in 1989. He moved to the commissioner's office in 1997, and returned to the Blue Jays in 2009.

Sources say that the Blue Jays' ownership was not pleased with some of Beeston's actions during the search for a replacement for commissioner Bud Selig.