Once it became apparent that Andy MacPhail wouldn't remain with the Orioles as president of baseball operations, Tony LaCava's name began to circulate through Camden Yards and the baseball industry.
There's no question that LaCava has made the first draft of potential replacements for MacPhail. From what I've heard, he ranks high on a short list.
So who is Tony LaCava?
This is a good start, courtesy of baseball-reference.com and the Toronto Blue Jays 2010 media guide.
LaCava is 50 and a Pittsburgh native. Don't hold his hometown against him.
Much of his appeal, in my eyes, comes from his background in scouting and player development. He was the Cleveland Indians' national crosschecker when they acquired Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens from the Montreal Expos for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.
LaCava joined the Blue Jays in 2002 and currently serves as their assistant general manager, overseeing player development and Latin American operations. Nothing wrong with raiding the front office of a division rival, especially one with a top-rated farm system. And when I see "Latin American operations," I immediately think "international market."
LaCava also is a big advanced metrics guy, which will thrill a certain segment of the fan base that considers batting average and RBIs to be outdated stats.
MLBtraderumors.com wrote this piece on LaCava while ranking him among the top 20 GM candidates in baseball.
A year ago, Peter Gammons endorsed LaCava for the Mets' GM job. Says so right here in a Mets blog that also includes other testimonials.