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Tony LaCava Rumors
Internal candidates Hal Morris, Matt Klentak, and Scott Servais are no longer in the running for the Angels’ GM job, sources tell Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava has also been taken out of consideration.
Now that the field has been narrowed down, it appears that the shortlist is comprised of Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler and Dodgers exec Josh Byrnes, per DiGiovanna (link). The Yankees believe that Eppler will get the gig, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears rumblings that Byrnes could actually be installed as the president to work above Eppler.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the trio of Angels internal candidates who have apparently been ruled out, as well as LaCava. Klentak has been linked to high-profile GM jobs in the past, including the recent Red Sox and Phillies vacancies. Servais, a former major leaguer turned assistant GM, could be lured to Seattle by newly installed Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. LaCava, meanwhile, has been strongly considered for GM openings in the past and he even (reportedly) turned down an offer to become the Orioles’ GM back in 2011.
When former general manager Jerry Dipoto left the club in the middle of the summer over an apparent lack of compatibility with manager Mike Scioscia, it became apparent that the Angels could have a unique GM search on their hands. The team has been increasingly active recently and is said to be hopeful of making a decision within a few weeks’ time.
Here’s the latest on the Angels’ search for a new leader of their baseball operations department, with updates on the preliminary interview process added as information is reported:
- Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava interviewed for the Angels’ GM vacancy today, reports Buster Olney of ESPN (via Twitter). LaCava has been an AGM with Toronto since 2007 and also currently holds the title vice president of baseball operations. He’s been strongly considered for GM openings in the past, and he even (reportedly) turned down an offer to become the Orioles’ GM back in 2011.
- Red Sox AGM Mike Hazen will interview with the Angels as soon as today, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Hazen has long been considered likely to head up a baseball ops department at some point. His name has also come up with regard to Boston’s own internal GM opening.
- Angels pro scouting director Hal Morris has also been given an interview for the post, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports on Twitter. He joins Klentak and Servais as internal candidates who have reportedly been given a chance to sit down with the top-level brass.
- The Angels interviewed Indians VP of player personnel Ross Atkins today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Atkins has been in the Cleveland organization for quite some time, and has occupied his current post since a promotion last year. Indians AGM Mike Chernoff has received more press as a possible GM hire, though he also seems to be an internal promotion candidate if current Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti takes the vacated president’s role. Antonetti has previously noted that Atkins holds the promise of a future general manager.
- We learned yesterday that Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler had his interview with the Halos, as had been widely expected. Eppler has been tabbed by some as the leading candidate, and is reportedly interested in the position — despite any possible limitations of authority owing to the presence of Scioscia — due in part to his ties to Southern California.
- Los Angeles is said also to have conducted interviews with its own assistant general managers, Matt Klentak and Scott Servais.
The Red Sox lost their 82nd game of the season last night, clinching the franchise's first losing season since 1997. Needless to say, the Sox will be busy this offseason to ensure they get back over the .500 mark and beyond in 2013. Here's the latest out of Fenway Park…
- The Red Sox are looking to add an experienced front office executive to assist GM Ben Cherington, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava has been rumored in connection with this role, though since the Jays would only allow LaCava (or any employee) to interview with another team if he was being offered a promotion.
- Larry Lucchino was non-committal about Alfredo Aceves' future with the team in an interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show. (WEEI.com's Alex Speier provides the partial recap.) Aceves has had some disciplinary issues in Boston and the decision about his role in 2013 "will be made next spring by whatever team he is with," said Lucchino. "Maybe he’s with us. We’ll see. Maybe he’s elsewhere. It’s a little early to answer that question. We have so far [put up with his activities].” Aceves is arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Lucchino also discussed several other Red Sox players, including pending free agent Cody Ross, who the team "loves" and would like to bring back. Lucchino said the club is "at the beginning stages of that process.” Earlier today, Ross said his top priority for free agency would be to sign with a contending team.
- James Loney tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he would be interested in returning to Boston if the Sox make him a contract offer this winter. Loney is set to hit free agency and could prefer to sign with an AL team if he has a choice, as the first baseman says he prefers playing under American League rules.
- The Sox should move quickly to find a new manager, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, arguing that the team can't afford another long managerial search or protracted negotiations with the Blue Jays over John Farrell. "The easiest choice" would be to hire bench coach Tim Bogar, who is a management favorite and has already interviewed for the Astros' job.
As the Orioles continue to look for a new general manager, let's see what's happening elsewhere in the American League East…
- The Rays "seem dead-set against trading James Shields," according to CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler (Twitter link). Knobler said Tampa Bay might be more inclined to deal Jeremy Hellickson than Shields, though he notes it's "very unlikely" that either pitcher is traded. The Rays exercised Shields' $7.5MM option for 2012 on Monday.
- Brian Cashman said the Yankees aren't looking to deal A.J. Burnett, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Cashman said yesterday that "if [Burnett] is with us, he’s in the rotation," but said today that he made "a bad choice of words."
- David Ortiz tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox didn't make him an offer during the team's five-day exclusive negotiating window with the free agent slugger. While no offer was made, GM Ben Cherington has spoken to Ortiz's representatives since the season ended.
- In a conference call with reporters (including MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm), Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said the team wasn't able to counter John McDonald's new two-year contract with the D'Backs due to the Jays' unclear situation at second base and with the utility spot. McDonald, a long-time fan favorite in Toronto, was expected to rejoin the Jays after being traded to Arizona last summer, but Anthopoulos said there were no hard feelings about McDonald's decision.
- Anthopoulos noted that the Jays staff gave Tony LaCava a standing ovation when the assistant GM returned to work yesterday. LaCava turned down the Orioles' offer of their general manager's position in order to stay in Toronto.
- If the Yankees re-sign Freddy Garcia, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York thinks Brian Cashman may "call it a winter" in regards to acquiring starting pitching.
The Orioles offered Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava their general manager job and he turned the position down, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Instead, LaCava will remain Toronto's assistant GM and Baltimore will resume its search for Andy MacPhail's replacement.
The Orioles also interviewed director of player development John Stockstill and Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson for the job. Angels GM Jerry Dipoto had interviewed for the position before accepting his job in Anaheim.
The Blue Jays had been preparing for the possibility that LaCava would leave, according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. There was major concern in Toronto that LaCava would bring personnel with him to Baltimore if he had accepted the job, according to Ghiroli. He explained his decision to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
“This was about the Toronto Blue Jays more than it is anything about the Baltimore Orioles," LaCava said. "The Orioles were classy in everything they did and I think they are going to go down the right path. For me, it was how much I love the Toronto Blue Jays and I really, really treasure my relationship with my general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, and I really want to see this through with him."
LaCava, Toronto's vice president of baseball operations and assistant General Manager, met with Orioles owner Peter Angelos yesterday. LaCava oversees player development and Latin American operations for the Blue Jays and has also worked for the Angels, Braves, Expos and Indians. He interviewed for GM jobs in Pittsburgh and Seattle in the past. For more on LaCava and Watson check out MLBTR's GM Candidate pieces.
8:46pm: There's no indication that the Orioles are ready to announce a decision and team officials haven't ruled out interviewing more candidates, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.
2:13pm: Orioles GM candidate Tony LaCava is back in Baltimore today to meet with owner Peter Angelos, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. This will be LaCava's first meeting with Angelos. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun writes, "The Orioles are not expected to do a second round of interviews, so the fact that LaCava is back almost certainly means that he and the ownership component of the search committee are discussing the conditions of his employment. It doesn't mean, however, that he has been offered the job officially or will accept it."
Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that Angelos attended the Orioles' initial interview with De Jon Watson of the Dodgers, but missed LaCava's first meeting with the team (Twitter links). Kubatko hears that the Orioles won't contact Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine about their job opening.
LaCava is currently the Blue Jays' vice president of baseball operations and assistant General Manager; learn more about him by reading Ben Nicholson-Smith's August interview.
The Orioles have interviewed Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays and Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks for their GM opening and both meetings were lengthy and thorough, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Here's the latest on the Orioles' search:
- Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that LaCava is the "stealth favorite" for the job (Twitter link).
- Connolly expects the Orioles to continue interviewing candidates after they speak with De Jon Watson of the Dodgers tomrrow. Thad Levine of the Rangers is one possibility.
- For more on LaCava, Dipoto, Levine and Watson check out MLBTR's GM Candidate pieces.
According to John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus:
The Nationals, according to multiple industry sources, are strongly considering firing general manager Jim Bowden and replacing him with Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava.
This rumor first surfaced on Ed Chigliak’s Federal Baseball blog yesterday. Fire Jim Bowden rounded up a bunch of info on LaCava. I’ve heard the Nationals may also consider in-house candidates such as Deric Ladnier and Mike Rizzo.