Os still deciding on GM

The Orioles are narrowing their general manager search and –with free agency set to begin on Thursday – the organization appears to be focusing on the small pool of candidates they have already interviewed, including Toronto’s assistant general manager Tony LaCava.

The Orioles have interviewed a total of four candidates, LaCava, Jerry Dipoto –who accepted the Angels’ vacant GM position – Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson and Baltimore’s director of player development John Stockstill, and have no plans to bring in any more candidates, according to a Major League source. A decision — while obviously preferred before Major League Baseball’s free agency period begins– isn’t expected until Wednesday at the earliest.

LaCava met with the Orioles’ decision makers in Baltimore on Monday, including principal owner Peter Angelos, in a meeting –first reported by FoxSports.com – that could signify which way things are leaning. LaCava has emerged as the favorite to land the position vacated by president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and he had a lengthy initial interview in Baltimore on Oct. 19.

Watson, who met with the Orioles several times as well according to Yahoo! Sports, also remains in play and is a strong candidate, while Stockstill is seen as more of a wild card, particularly given the organization’s struggles in the scouting and player development area. LaCava, 50, is regarded as an exceptional communicator and his extensive connections and background in scouting and player development have earned him a reputation as one of baseball’s most savvy talent evaluators.

LaCava started as a scout for the Angels, Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians before joining Toronto’s organization, and he was moved up from assistant to the GM to assistant GM in October 2007. In 2009, he was also named director of player development and currently serves as the right-hand man to GM Alex Anthopoulos.

By several accounts, Toronto has been preparing for the possibility of life without LaCava for the last few weeks, with a major concern being what personnel LaCava –who is incredibly well respected in the organization — would take with him if he was to get the Orioles’ GM job.

LaCava’s current role in Toronto has him in charge of player personnel and he has had enviable success identifying international talent to add to the Blue Jays already well-regarded Minor League system. A Pittsburgh native, LaCava’s family is still based in the area, making a potential move from Toronto to Baltimore not any kind of hindrance. There’s a school of that that LaCava –who is incredibly well-respected around the league – and his desire to stay close to his family has kept him out of the running for several similar positions in the past.

Watson, who interviewed for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM job last year that went to Kevin Towers, just completed his fifth season in charge of the Dodgers’ Minor League system, which was named the best in baseball in 2010 by Topps. Watson joined the Dodgers from Cleveland, where he was scouting director, and he also was scouting director for Cincinnati.


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