Speculation Nation: President of Baseball Operations


One of the biggest trends in sports is to speculate, speculate, speculate. So, why not? There’s tons of rumors flying around as to who is and who is not in the conversation to take over for Andy MacPhail. I just want to take a look at a few of the men who are in that conversation.

The following are expected to be interviewed for the job next week: Diamondbacks Senior Vice President Jerry Dipoto, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings, Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White, and Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi.

My analysis on these guys after the jump.

Jerry Dipoto, Diamondbacks Senior VP:
His career in the front office has been relatively short, dating back to 2003. However, almost his entire front office career has been in positions very important to the Orioles: scouting and player development. He started off with the Red Sox as a scout. In 2005, he became head of the scouting department with the Colorado Rockies. He then moved to the Diamondbacks and became the Director of Scouting and Player Personnel. He was then named the Diamondbacks interim general manager after Josh Byrnes was fired in 2010. When Kevin Towers was named the new GM, Dipoto moved to the position of Senior VP. I like him because he has some experience with the AL East, has a World Series ring, and has a huge background in scouting and player development, which is crucial.

Dan Jennings, Marlins assistant GM
He’s looking to be one of the favorites and Baseball America ranks him as the number 2 overall GM Prospect. He’s been around since 1987 and was hired as the first scouting director in Devil Rays history in 1995. From 1997-2002, he drafted tons of impressive players such as ex-Oriole (and one of my favorite players of all time) Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford, and B.J. Upton to name a few. He left Tampa Bay to join the Marlins after 2002 and helped lead them to a 2003 World Series. Again, this guy is familiar with the AL East, has a ring, and comes from a great scouting/player development background. He’s proven in this area. I’m very big on Jennings.

Tony LaCava, Blue Jays assistant GM:
His name has been around the rumor mill for quite some time. It’s not a matter of if but when he becomes a GM for some team. He’s been around the front office for over 20 years and experience is a major piece the Orioles are looking for. Besides currently overseeing player development for Toronto, he oversees Latin American operations for them as well. This is huge because the Orioles are infamous for failing in the foreign player market. They’re terrible. Hiring LaCava would be a big step in the right direction.

Logan White, Dodgers assistant GM:
He’s already been a member of the Baltimore system before moving on to the Dodgers. He’s big on scouting pitchers and has overseen the selection of Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and Chad Billingsley. He has also overseen the selection of players Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, and James Loney. He currently oversees amateur and international scouting for the Dodgers. The Orioles definitely need to continue drafting quality young guys and work on their international scouting so he’s be good ther. However, I think the other candidates are better suited for the job.

J.P. Ricciardi, Blue Jays GM
He’s a Billy Beane guy, that’s fact number one that’s important to know. Out of 8 seasons as the Blue Jays GM, he had 5 winning seasons. He also brought about the talents of Roy Halladay, B.J. Ryan, Vernon Wells, A.J. Burnett, Lyle Overbay, and Bengie Molina, to name a few. He bothers me as a person, for some reason, so I wouldn’t be thrilled to see him here. But who knows, maybe he’d be good for the team.