I was asked again yesterday about candidates to manage the Orioles next season. Whether a particular name is in the mix. Whether I can place odds on a veteran such as Joe Girardi or Dusty Baker versus a newbie such as MLB Network analyst and former player Mark DeRosa.
We must go back to my previous statement that the new president of baseball operations will choose the manager. We’re putting the cart before the horse by speculating on Buck Showalter’s replacement.
I’m still expecting the Orioles to pass on an expensive veteran manager while they reduce payroll and vow to reallocate the funds. It could be a first-timer or someone who’s managed in the minors or has previous major league experience, but not in the Showalter mold.
It also depends on whether the candidate wants to tackle a rebuilding project rather than wait for a better opportunity to win. Perhaps a shorter window to wallow.
The Orioles won’t entice every single person with managerial aspirations. But, also to repeat myself, I’m sure that the individuals who are interviewing for the job of president of baseball operations already have shared their preferences with ownership.
Reports are surfacing that DeRosa wants to hold onto his current job rather than transition to managing. If that’s really the case, we can remove his name from the speculative list no matter who’s doing the hiring.
Kim Ng’s name was floated yesterday by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman as someone who interests the Orioles as their next general manager. I’ve also heard her mentioned as a possibility, but purely in a speculative sense. This will only happen, of course, if the president of baseball operations wants her in the front office.
I really can’t stress this enough. There’s a specific order here. And no one has been tabbed as president, so it would be difficult to arrange an interview with a GM candidate.
I’ve reported that executive vice president John Angelos met with Ned Colletti in Los Angeles back in June, though not necessarily as part of a formal interview for a particular job. Colletti and Ng worked together with the Dodgers, which is going to lead to more speculation. But I’m not aware of anything being imminent at the moment regarding the president hire, which keeps any GM talk on hold.
The Orioles are working hard to remove any hints of dysfunction or animosity in the organization. They want everyone on the same page, which naturally is easier to accomplish if the individual put in charge is bringing in his or her own people.
No more sniping or oil and water analogies.
Whomever is in charge will push the analytics agenda, just as former executive vice president Dan Duquette intended to do. The department will increase significantly and branch out to touch multiple facets of the team and organization. It isn’t expected to be exclusively about scouting.
Meanwhile, the Orioles continue to wait on Cuban outfielders Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. and pitcher Sandy Gastón. It’s believed that an offer has been submitted for at least one of them and the logical focus would fall upon Victor Victor, who at 22 is six years older than his brother and five years older than Gastón.
I checked again yesterday and was told that the Orioles hold about $6.5 million in international bonus slot money. The Marlins might have inched ahead after completing another trade yesterday, netting $500,000 from the Astros for outfielder Adonis Giron and left-hander Brayan De Paula.
The Orioles might need to go particularly heavy with one offer and hope the Marlins can’t match or exceed it and also sign the other two prospects. Victor Victor Mesa is the big prize, but the others impressed at the showcase in Miami and their ceilings make them worthy of placement in the farm system.
Today’s question: Would you sign or trade for a right fielder - staying within budget, of course - or give the job to someone already in the organization?