Klentak named Angels assistant GM, Chong and Guerrero updates

UPDATE: The Angels announced that they’ve hired Matt Klentak as assistant general manager.

Klentak signed a multi-year deal and will focus on all aspects of baseball operations, as he did with the Orioles. He’ll work with general manager Jerry Dipoto, who interviewed for the Orioles’ job.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed this morning that Matt Klentak, director of baseball operations, interviewed for a front office position with the Los Angeles Angels.

ESPN’s Keith Law tweeted earlier today that he’s hearing Klentak “is likely leaving Baltimore to become the Assistant GM for the Angels.”

“We don’t have any announcement,” Duquette said. “I can tell you that Matt spoke to the Angels about a job opportunity, but we don’t have any announcement to make.”

That announcement will have to come from the Angels.

When I asked Duquette whether he’ll have to hire a replacement for Klentak, he replied, “We may or may not, depending on how we structure the front office.”

Duquette also said it wouldn’t necessarily be a promotion for Klentak. It could be viewed as a lateral move.

Duquette still needs to hire a scouting director, and he could choose to reassign other executives. The Orioles also have two vacancies on manager Buck Showalter’s coaching staff. Klentak’s departure would add to the list of chores.

By the way, Klentak is highly regarded in the front office and was considered to be an important resource for Duquette. He’s also viewed within the industry as a future GM.

Klentak was hired as director of baseball ops on March 4, 2008. He assisted Andy MacPhail in scouting, player development, contract negotiations and the overall construction of the major league roster.

Before joining the Orioles, Klentak spent four years working in MLB’s Labor Relations Department. He was a key member of the collective bargaining team that successfully negotiated a second consecutive CBA without a work stoppage in 2006.

Meanwhile, Duquette said the Orioles are still working on an agreement with Korean pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon and the club wouldn’t have an announcement before next week.

“It’s not going to happen this week or over the weekend,” Duquette said. “There’s still more work to do with this.”

Chong would have to pass his physical before signing a contract, and getting back the results figures to create another delay because of the holiday.

Duquette remains optimistic that Chong will agree to terms and join the bullpen.

“We like him,” Duquette said. “He’s got a unique delivery and he’s performed at the highest level of international competition. We think he’s major league quality. He’s competition-tested on the highest international stage.”

And finally (I hope), the Orioles won’t offer arbitration to Vladimir Guerrero. He’s free to sign with another team.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though Duquette met with Guerrero’s agent, Fern Cuza, at the GM meetings and said he needed to figure out “what to do” with the veteran designated hitter.

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