Orioles ask permission for GM interviews, Randolph not returning
In addition to a new general manager, the Orioles will have at least two new coaches next season, as Willie Randolph was not issued a contract for 2012 according to a baseball source. The organization also still has a vacancy for a permanent bullpen coach.
The decision to not retain Randolph comes on the heels of a flurry of organizational movement. Most notable was the departure of president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail last week, but it was also announced on Wednesday that scouting director Joe Jordan is leaving to take a player development position with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Randolph was originally hired on a one-year deal as manager Buck Showalter’s bench coach, but he switched to third base halfway through the season to accommodate John Russell. Russell had some knee issues and when asked about the coaching swap during the season Showalter said he felt Rusell was better served closer to the catchers on the bench.
The manager of the New York Mets for four seasons, Randolph spent two years as the Milwaukee Brewers bench coach before joining Baltimore, where he worked predominantly with the infielders and made particular strides with Robert Andino. A lifelong New Yorker, Randolph played for six teams in an 18-season career, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates and ending with the Mets. He has made it no secret in the past that he would like another managing opportunity, although those jobs are scarce for next season.
The rest of the Orioles coaching staff will likely remain intact, with both hitting coach Jim Presley and pitching coach Rick Adair on two-year deals –although Adair could take on a new role — as well as first base coach Wayne Kirby and Russell still under contract. There remains a hole in the bullpen coach role, as Adair slid over from that position after Mark Connor’s midseason resignation as pitching coach. The Orioles used a rotating group of temporary fill-ins at bullpen coach for the remainder of the season.
Showalter has been in Baltimore the last few days finalizing his coaching staff and giving input on the team’s general manger search, which is still in the preliminary stages of asking permission from other clubs to interview potential candidates. The Orioles are expected to start conducting interviews when Showalter comes back into town next week with Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president Jerry Dipoto, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings, Blue Jays assistant GM Tony Lacava, and Dodgers assistant GM Logan White some of the most heavily rumored names. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney also reported on Twitter on Thursday that former Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is also on the Orioles’ “short list” of candidates.