The first interviewee for the Orioles' top executive job is the type of candidate who can fit into all kinds of baseball circles.
Jerry Dipoto, the Arizona Diamondbacks' senior vice president of scouting and player development, met Tuesday with the Orioles' interviewing committee, the first of several candidates for the spot recently vacated by president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
Dipoto, 43, has done a little bit of everything in his career. He was a third-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians out of Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989. A right-handed reliever, the New Jersey native spent eight seasons in the majors with the Indians, New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. He appeared in 390 big league games, compiling 49 saves and a 4.05 ERA.
He began scouting for the Boston Red Sox in 2003 and joined the Rockies in 2005 as player personnel director. He followed Josh Byrnes to the Diamondbacks the following season to run their pro scouting department. He now oversees both scouting and development.
For two months last year — after Byrnes was fired and before veteran general manager Kevin Towers was hired — Dipoto was the Diamondbacks' interim GM and made two key trades. He dealt All-Star right-hander Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels for four pitchers, including veteran Joe Saunders and minor league prospect Tyler Skaggs.
He also landed one of the better young pitchers in the game in July 2010, when he sent starter Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer.
Dipoto is considered one of the top GM candidates in baseball — MLBTradeRumors.com ranked him No. 1 — because of his combination of old-school scouting experience and affinity for advanced statistical analysis. Being an ex-player certainly doesn't hurt his cause.
He is a candidate for the vacant Angels GM job and has interviewed in the past for similar positions with the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners.
Dipoto also has overcome personal adversity. In 1994, he had his cancerous thyroid removed and continued to pitch in the big leagues through 2000.
Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava will interview Wednesday for the Orioles' job.
In other news, the Florida Marlins have not formally denied permission for the Orioles to interview Florida assistant general manager Dan Jennings, although it appears to be leaning that way, according to an industry source. It would be the fourth time the Marlins have denied another team permission to talk to Jennings, who signed an eight-year extension four years ago.