The Orioles have taken another preliminary step in their search for the new executive who will replace Andy MacPhail as head of baseball operations.
Manager Buck Showalter flew to Baltimore on Wednesday and met with owner Peter Angelos and other front office personnel to discuss possible candidates for the position. Now, club officials must get permission from the current employers of some of those candidates before setting up formal interviews. That process almost certainly is under way.
The club is believed to be working from a list that includes Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president for scouting and player development Jerry DiPoto, Texas Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine, Toronto Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, Florida Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings, Los Angeles Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson, Detroit Tigers assistant GM Al Avila, Los Angeles Angels executive and former GM Tony Reagins and Dodgers assistant GM Logan White.
It's a diverse cross section of front office talent, and the selection process figures to be hard to handicap until the first round of interviews is complete. According to one source, the trick will be finding someone who has a personality that dovetails with that of both Angelos and Showalter while possessing a very strong background in scouting and player development.
The meeting took place just hours after the Philadelphia Phillies hired Orioles director of scouting Joe Jordan to be their director of player development. Jordan was well-liked in the Orioles' front office, but his departure might actually make the baseball operations job more attractive, since top executives usually prefer to choose their key lieutenants.
Showalter is expected to stay in Baltimore through the end of the week to finalize next year's coaching staff, but he has indicated that there will not be a major shakeup.