The Orioles face a pivotal decision in naming their successor to recently dismissed general manager Dan Duquette in the coming weeks, and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com run through some speculative candidates for the job. Both mention former Red Sox GM and current Blue Jays VP of baseball ops Ben Cherington as a logical candidate, and it’s worth noting that The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that Cherington “wants to build an organization from the ground up” (which likely played a notable role in his decision to withdraw from consideration for the Mets and Giants vacancies). Kubatko adds that executive vice president John Angelos met with former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti earlier this summer but emphasizes that there’s no clear indication it was in connection to a potential GM role or that any formal interview will take place. Meoli, meanwhile, suggests that the team will pursue younger execs from data-driven organizations.
Over at The Athletic, Dan Connolly campaigns for the Orioles to place Cal Ripken Jr. in a president-type role (subscription link), though Ripken has no baseball operations experience. Rosenthal has previously suggested a role similar to the one Derek Jeter holds in Miami, but Ripken would still presumably need an experience exec to work underneath him, and it’s not clear that the organization is even pursuing that type of reunion with the franchise icon.
More from the game’s Eastern divisions…
- Following yesterday’s report that the Nationals decided not to renew the contract of assistant GM Bob Miller, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that GM Mike Rizzo didn’t want Miller to leave the organization (likely indicating it was an ownership decision). Miller, as Janes explains, was instrumental in helping to orchestrate the trade that netted the Nationals both Trea Turner and Joe Ross, and he was also involved in contract negotiations, among other key front-office responsibilities. The Nats also let go of advance scout Chris Rosenbaum, Janes reports.
- Phillies president Andy MacPhail met with the media earlier this week, discussing a number of topics ranging from potential free-agent acquisitions to the team’s disappointing finish (link via Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Phils fans have long been clamoring for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to head to the city of brotherly love, and while MacPhail said he expects the team’s payroll to trend closer to its pre-rebuild heights, when the Phillies had one of baseball’s five highest payrolls, he also spoke somewhat cautiously about being too aggressive in the market. “I guess if you were to invest all you had on one star-type player, then that would be sort of an acknowledgment that you think you may be one player away,” said MacPhail. “Is that really going to solve the problems that I articulated earlier — the defense, playing within our division better, being more consistent, striking out less?” MacPhail did suggest that the Phils will be “active” in free agency but suggested that the inconsistent performance of the 2018 Phillies also makes it difficult to determine exactly how good the roster is, as currently constructed.
- There are some notable changes taking place in the Mets’ minor league coaching ranks, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links), with pitching coach Frank Viola set to leave the organization after eight years. Double-A hitting coach Val Pascucci, Class-A Advanced pitching coach Marc Valdes and Appy League manager Sean Ratliff all getting cut loose as well. Viola has been mentioned as a potential big league coach in the past, and DiComo notes that the 1988 American League Cy Young winner remains interested in finding his way onto a big league staff.