Rumors have been swirling about a pending contract extension for Orioles manager Buck Showalter for the past few weeks. Media reports indicated that it was inevitable that it would happen, and the discussions have picked up in the past couple of days. Showalter, whose contract was entering its final year, has certainly earned the extra time in Baltimore based on the team's improvement since he arrived.

Today, the Orioles threw a curveball, announcing not only Showalter's extension but one for Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette as well. The extensions run through the 2018 season, meaning that Showalter has picked up five years on top of his existing contract and Duquette has been given four additional years beyond 2014.

I don't think I saw a single report indicating that a Duquette extension was incoming, so for me, it's quite a surprise. The fact that the Orioles announced both simultaneously is a strong sign that Showalter and Duquette are each on board with working with the other. This is not guaranteed, of course, but you have to think that the two men believe they have a good working relationship and that will continue.