Highly respected LaCava takes turn in interview room
For the second straight day, the Orioles conducted a lengthy interview with a well-respected front office official in hopes of replacing president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who stepped down this month.
On Wednesday, it was Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager and director of player personnel Tony LaCava. It came on the heels of Tuesday's marathon meeting with Arizona Diamondbacks senior vice president of scouting and player development Jerry Dipoto.
Dipoto, who also is expected to interview with the Los Angeles Angels for their vacant GM job, is considered the favorite for the Orioles' post, but LaCava is also highly regarded. The Orioles originally planned to interview at least four candidates, but their request to talk to Florida Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings is expected to be denied.
Most others who have been bandied about as candidates — including Los Angeles Dodgers assistant GMs De Jon Watson and Logan White and New York Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi — had not been contacted by the Orioles as of Wednesday, according to industry sources.
That leaves Dipoto and LaCava, although one industry source said it would be surprising if it were only those two to interview.
LaCava, 50, is a longtime scout and baseball lifer who has been considered a potential GM for years, having been rumored, in the past, to be joining the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals, among others.
He has instead remained in Toronto for nearly a decade, creating a reputation for having a keen eye for talent at the big league level and in the international and amateur ranks.
A Pittsburgh native, LaCava spent 10 years as a scout in the Angels' system and also worked for the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians before joining the Blue Jays nine years ago.
Along with the assistant GM title, he is considered the director of player personnel. But within the game, he receives the most credit for the Blue Jays' strong international program, which has helped the organization create one of the top farm systems in baseball.
It's an area where the Orioles feel he could help improve them.
A former minor league infielder, LaCava also stands out among many peers because he embraces advanced statistical analysis and has used those metrics to formulate opinions on players. Yet he also has 20-plus years of scouting to draw from — a combination somewhat rare in today's game, in which scouting and statistical analysis often comprise separate camps.