CLEVELAND -- Orioles officials have contacted Joe Klein, who is being replaced as the general manager of the Detroit Tigers, and likely will interview him today or tomorrow as a possible replacement for Roland Hemond.
Hemond resigned as Orioles general manager last week. Former Montreal general manager Kevin Malone, the first candidate interviewed by the Orioles, remains the front-runner. Boston assistant general manager Mike Port interviewed on Wednesday with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and club counsel Russell Smouse and impressed.
Port also interviewed this week with the Houston Astros, who also talked with New York Mets executive Gerry Hunsicker.
The Orioles also are expected to make other contacts -- possibly former New York Yankees general manager Gene Michael and Atlanta scout Bill Lajoie. The Orioles previously asked for permission to interview Cleveland assistant GM Dan O'Dowd, but Indians owner Richard Jacobs denied permission. It appears the only way that O'Dowd would become a candidate again is if Jacobs reconsidered.
The Orioles told Port they expected to contact him again this weekend or early next week, so there's a strong possibility the hiring of a general manager and Davey Johnson as manager could be announced simultaneously.
Earlier this week, Johnson said his deal with the Orioles is "imminent," and an NL source indicated Johnson will get a three-year deal.
The availability of Buck Showalter is not expected to affect the Orioles' decision to hire Johnson.