The Orioles will be short one lieutenant at baseball's winter meetings next week and for the foreseeable future now that special assistant Wayne Krivsky has left for the New York Mets.
Krivsky, 55, previously the Cincinnati Reds' general manager, joined the Orioles as a special assistant to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail in November 2008. He is taking a similar position under Mets general manager Omar Minaya; Krivsky worked for Minaya as a special assistant in 2008.
The Orioles' newly created vacancy will not be filled immediately, according to MacPhail.
"Eventually we will replace him," MacPhail said. "It's not something that will be done sooner as opposed to later."
Krivsky, who did not return phone calls from The Baltimore Sun, was considered second in command in the organization's hierarchy but was less visible than other members of MacPhail's brain trust. His duties were more open-ended, MacPhail said, and included scouting and contractual/player negotiation responsibilities, as well as advising MacPhail.
"I really rely on different people for different things and not one confidant above others," MacPhail said. "I take in all their counsel, and the special assistant was one that could be more fluid, be more interdepartmental, go from one department to another and float in as needed. ... There are a variety of ways the position can be filled, and not necessarily a one-for-one exchange."
MacPhail said there is no timetable for naming a replacement but added Krivsky's departure should be viewed positively - that the Orioles' front office is continually being monitored by other clubs.
He is the third staff member to leave the club this offseason, following pro scout Dave Hollins, who took a more advanced scouting job with the Philadelphia Phillies, and regional crosschecker Deron Rombach, who is now the Atlanta Braves' national crosschecker. Three other clubs asked permission to interview Orioles front office members, but two were denied because the positions were considered lateral moves, MacPhail said. Another member of the organization was granted permission but did not leave.
"This is the way it should be," MacPhail said. "People get an opportunity to advance themselves and they take it. I think it speaks well of our departments."
No arbitration offers
As expected, the Orioles have declined to offer arbitration to the club's four free agents: Melvin Mora, Danys Baez, Chad Moeller and Mark Hendrickson.
Only Mora, a Type B free agent, would have yielded the Orioles a supplemental pick in next year's amateur draft if he had been offered arbitration by midnight Tuesday and then signed with another team.
But the Orioles were not going to risk the possibility that Mora would accept arbitration over free agency, which would have required the club to spend more than $8 million for his services in 2010. All four can still re-sign with the Orioles.
With recent reports that commissioner Bud Selig will step down after the 2012 season comes renewed speculation that MacPhail may be a leading candidate for the post.
As he has for years, MacPhail said again Tuesday that he doesn't think about it.
"That's a long time down the road. The baseball world will change two times over in the next three years. There literally are a zillion variables," MacPhail said. "It is not anything that is remotely on my mind."
Around the horn
The Orioles promoted Mike Snyder, a baseball operations intern and Princeton graduate, to a full-time position as a baseball operations assistant. ... Right fielder Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina, will participate in the lighting of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon Place on Thursday, the official kickoff of the city's holiday season.