2:23pm: Bloom has turned down an opportunity to interview with the Diamondbacks, reports Piecoro. Dodgers executive Alex Anthopoulos did the same earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman relayed Saturday.
9:58am: Rays VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom and Royals’ assistant GM J.J. Picollo are believed to be candidates for the Diamondbacks’ general manager position, league sources tell Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The two executives join a lengthy list of names previously linked to the D’Backs job, including Ned Colletti, Kim Ng, Ray Montgomery, Peter Woodfork and internal candidates Bryan Minniti and Mike Bell.
Both Bloom and Picollo have been connected to multiple front office openings in recent years, even getting consideration for the same job on more than one occasion. Both were interviewed for the Twins GM job just last month, and both were contenders to become the Phillies’ new general manager last offseason before the team hired Matt Klentak. (Picollo was an early favorite for the Philadelphia job, though it was Bloom who ended up making the Phillies’ final three list of candidates for the position, along with Klentak and A’s assistant GM Dan Kantrovitz.) Bloom was also interviewed by the Brewers last offseason before they hired David Stearns as their new general manager.
Unlike the other known candidates, Bloom and Picollo don’t have any previous connection with the D’Backs themselves or other NL West teams, so they would bring a fresh perspective to Arizona’s baseball operations department. Bloom has spent his entire 11-year career in baseball with Tampa Bay, while Picollo has spent the last decade in the Royals’ front office and the previous seven years working for the Braves. Both are also younger executives (Picollo is 45 years old and Bloom is just 33) and thought to be more analytically-minded, which would also represent a change in direction for the D’Backs. The previous front office, led by Tony La Russa and since-fired GM Dave Stewart, was rather openly old-school in their approach, with an analytics department headed by a first-time baseball ops hire.