As we await word about the Orioles' front office situation – we expect Andy MacPhail to leave his post as president of baseball operations, maybe as early as today, though it's possible he stays with the team in another capacity – I figured I'd share my thoughts about what happens with the spot, and drop some names.
The leading candidate remains current Orioles' manager Buck Showalter. The sense is the job is his if he wants it, and he's trying to decide in which job he can have the biggest impact.
If Showalter stays as manager, then certainly he'll be involved in whom the Orioles select to be president/general manager.
There are some recognizable names that might be available – Boston's Theo Epstein and Oakland's Billy Beane are the biggest ones (don't see New York's Brian Cashman or Tampa's Andrew Friedman leaving their posts. If they do, teams wouldn't be able to talk to them until they are out of the playoffs).
There's no way Epstein would be a fit in Baltimore, especially with Showalter and Peter Angelos running the show. And, of course, Epstein wouldn't want to come here, even though it's where he started his baseball career as a public relations intern.
It seems likely that Epstein stays in Boston, but he may flirt with the Chicago Cubs, who would love to make a splash for the high-profile job.
If that doesn't happen, the Cubs likely will turn their attention to a first-time GM. According to an industry source, the Cubs' short list includes Epstein's protégé, Boston senior VP Ben Cherington, Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn and Atlanta's pro scouting director John Coppolella.
None of those three is expected to be a fit with the Orioles, so there should be no bidding war with the Cubs. The only other team that currently is searching for a GM is the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels usually promote from within, but there is speculation that they might attempt to get Oakland's Beane to LA shortly after the movie "Moneyball" landed in Hollywood.
So that, at least for now, leaves us with the Orioles' spot – if indeed Showalter stays as manager. I don't think they'd make an internal hire. Matt Klentak, baseball operations director, is considered a future GM candidate, but that won't happen now. Amateur scouting director Joe Jordan and player development director John Stockstill could be in the conversation, but that's probably not where the Orioles will go, either.
In talking to some people, and in analyzing what's been done in the past, the sense is that if Showalter doesn't take the job it likely will go to someone outside the organization who has a background in scouting and/or development, a track record of success and some type of relationship with Showalter (or, possibly, the Orioles).
Based on who Angelos has hired in the past, it won't be a whiz kid, no matter the reputation. Anyone under 40 would be a shock. In fact, expect someone around 50 or older.
Given that belief, here's a list of potential names. I didn't include anyone internally. Many of these guys have done the job before or are highly regarded in their particular area of expertise. There are some obvious names I left out; you'll have to trust me here. There certainly will be others considered, but it's a start – considering the job isn't officially open yet. These 10 are listed in alphabetical order.
Jerry Dipoto, senior vice president, Diamondbacks
Gerry Hunsicker, senior VP, Rays
Dan Jennings, assistant general manager, Marlins
Wayne Krivsky, former special assistant to GM, Mets
Tony LaCava, assistant GM, Blue Jays
Damon Oppenheimer, scouting director, Yankees
A.J. Preller, senior director of player personnel, Rangers
Scott Proefrock, assistant GM, Phillies
J.P. Ricciardi, special assistant to GM, Mets
Scott Servais, senior director of player development, Rangers