Os GM job updated…
The Orioles’ list in replacing president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail continues to change daily, with former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette interviewing in Baltimore on Friday –as expected – and Boston executive Allard Baird and the Minnesota Twins vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff coming off the latest list.
Duquette, who had a lengthy interview with the Orioles’ front office according to an industry source, is the third candidate left standing in a process that has taken much longer than anyone anticipated. Baltimore’s request to interview Radcliff was reportedly denied by the Twins and Baird –who was given permission to pursue the opportunity—chose to remain with the Red Sox, becoming the latest executive to decline a chance to turn around a beleaguered Orioles team. The former Kansas City Royals GM, Baird is a big fan of O’s manager Buck Showalter, but chose to remain in Boston despite the Sox’s front office shakeup, which includes the departure of GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona.
Here is the statement Baird sent out via text: “I was honored that the Baltimore Orioles expressed interested in me for their GM position. The opportunity to possibly work side by side with Buck Showalter made this very attractive. At the end of the day it came down to my loyalty to the Red Sox [and GM]m Ben Cherington.”
With Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava declining the Orioles’ offer on Tuesday, Baltimore was forced to go back to the drawing board and bring in more candidates to go along with the two left standing from the first round: Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson and Baltimore’s director of player development, John Stockstill. Neither Watson nor Stockstill appeared likely to get the position, based on the club’s decision to open the search back up, and Watson withdrew his name from contention on Wednesday night.
The Orioles interviewed former executive, and current Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock on Thursday and they have contacted the New York Yankees in regards to scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. A separate source confirmed that the Yankees have granted permission for Oppenheimer to interview although –similar to Baird – there hasn’t been anything scheduled and he could opt to stay in his current role with New York.
The preference in the Orioles organization was to conduct several interviews this weekend and have a decision reached by Monday. But given the difficulty they’ve had luring in potential candidates, the process of bringing a qualified GM to Baltimore could take much longer than that. The Orioles are currently the only team in Major League Baseball without a GM, and baseball’s free agency period began officially on Thursday, making a speedy –but not haste—hire all the more important.