I tend to think Close went overboard on his comments there when Duquette already acknowledged he never thought a deal was close. My own hunch, based on the news reported, is that Duquette knew all along about their desire for an opt out, but both parties worked on the parameters of a deal as there weren't many other options, so might as well look at things. Hence why Fowler told Adam Jones he was coming down to Florida a few days ago. Nothing was finalized, but somehow, maybe secondary Orioles officials leaked that things were getting close, hence why the news reports went crazy about a deal. Close probably had an agreement with the Cubs to give them a call before a deal, or something along the lines, and the Cubs came in with an offer, and he's back.
Either way, hard to see any real wrong-doing here by any parties. Everyone was simply doing business, and somehow leaks happened, which happens a lot. Now, if Duquette leaked it, or someone close to him, perhaps that's a different story, but the word out of the DC area doesn't suggest that.
As for the Orioles - I don't really blame them at all for wanting to drive a hard-line. Hell, I've been of the opinion they should've just avoided Gallardo and Fowler and kept the picks. To be quite honest, if Kim's discipline translates from Korea, they might be fine. Margin of error is simply less now, unless they can surprise with another move (still believe they should try and shop Britton for help now and prospects, which I think they could get ... would still have a good pen). That said, Duquette's said a deal wasn't close, and I can understand wanting more than 1 guaranteed year for giving up the pick.