The Orioles are in the process of hiring former Boston Red Sox farm director Kent Qualls as part of their minor league baseball operations staff, according to multiple industry sources.
The hiring isn't official and the Orioles aren't expected to announce their minor league staffs, including managers and coaches, until after the holidays.
From what I'm hearing, Qualls mostly would be involved in the administrative side of the department, including contracts and expenses. Many of those duties previously fell upon Tripp Norton, who was promoted last winter to director of baseball administration.
Qualls has strong ties to executive vice president Dan Duquette. He spent 16 years with the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, primarily working in scouting, player development and Latin American operations. He was named director of the NIKE Dan Duquette Sports Academy when it opened in 2003.
Also, Double-A Bowie field coach Denny Hocking has emerged as a strong candidate to replace Bobby Dickerson as minor league infield coordinator.
Hocking has spent the past two seasons at Bowie after moving up from Single-A Frederick, where his professional coaching career started in 2010. He was an infielder for 13 major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals.
Dickerson has joined manager Buck Showalter's staff as third base coach. His replacement also isn't likely to be revealed until after the holidays.
OK, back to my prep work for "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report," which airs from 5-7 p.m. on MASN. I need to come up with a few more insults for The Sun's Peter Schmuck, who will be calling into the show.