And we have an owner who appears to to be better acquainted with fantasy than he is with reality. I would call that #5 in the list of problems that may thwart a trade for Manny.
Number 1 is the owner's fixation on the very near term and his apparent disregard for the future of the team after the next season or two.
Number 2 is the owner's chronic inability to say "yes." He seems to be of the mind that when trading for prospects whose trajectory and value are uncertain, it can't be a good deal for the Orioles if the team is willing to make it. At the same time, he won't make a realistic offer, or authorize anyone else to make a realistic offer, for fear it will be asking for less than the Orioles could have gotten, and the other team will say "yes." Then you're stuck.
Number 3 is the uncertainty to the outside world as to who has what authority to make a trade on behalf of the Orioles. Up until recently, there was no question that everything had to go through the owner. Now that doesn't seem so clear -- and the situation may vary from week to week or day to day.
Number 4 is the lack of credibility that the Orioles have around MLB. Other teams now know that Duquette or anyone else they talk to has no authority to close a deal, no ability to predict reliably whether the Orioles will approve a deal that's been agreed to, and no idea how long it will take to get a final decision. The uncertainty and frustration that a trading partner potentially faces may be worth dealing with if the elusive prize is Manny Machado, but some may not be willing to chase that wild goose. Even more so if the prize is just Adam Jones or Brad Brach.