According to SI’s Jon Heyman this afternoon, Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava is likely to be offered the vacant Baltimore Orioles GM position.
Is LaCava’s tenure with the Jays going to come to an end?
The Orioles have four finalists for the position — Diamondbacks senior vice president Jerry Dipoto, Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson, Orioles director of player development John Stockstill, and LaCava. When a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal emerged that the Angels were set on hiring Dipoto, the initial favorite for the O’s gig, as their new GM, that instantly made LaCava the new favorite in Baltimore.
But Dan Connolly over at The Baltimore Sun suggests to take Lacava’s apparent favorite status with a grain of salt.”Write that in pencil. I’ve learned over the years that nothing is official with the Orioles until it is official,” he says in the article.
There’s also a rumor that Watson’s interview process has gone well and that he shouldn’t be ruled out, so it really comes down to, if the Orioles offered him the job, would LaCava even take it? Baseball America’s Jim Callis ranked the O’s farm system 21st in MLB prior to the 2011 season, and with yet another last place finish in the AL East, it’s clear that the team needs to fix some things at the major league level. A good place to start? Addressing their entire pitching staff’s Major League worst 4.89 ERA last season. Add in the fact that the Orioles haven’t finished a season with a winning record since 1997, and it’s evident that LaCava would have quite the to-do list if he was to become Baltimore’s GM.
LaCava has been with the Jays since the fall of 2002 as an assistant to the GM, before ultimately moving up to assistant GM in October 2007. Having seen first-hand both J.P. Ricciardi era and the differences Alex Anthopoulos has made at the helm, one has to wonder if LaCava would want to leave an organization on the rise after years of mediocrity like the Jays, and for a team in one of the worst situations in MLB.
As pointed out in a story from Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi a few weeks ago, Anthopoulos does not want to lose LaCava.
“Just like losing a great player to a division rival, it hurts twice as much [losing LaCava to another AL East team]. Again, not that we’ve accomplished a whole lot, we’re not a playoff team, we’re not a World Series winner, but whatever good we have accomplished, if Tony wasn’t here we wouldn’t have done it, that I can guarantee you. Tony is the impetus and the catalyst for a lot of the things that we’re doing here,” Anthopoulos said in the story.
It will really be interesting to see if LaCava does in fact land the Orioles’ GM position and accept it, and I’m sure Anthopoulos has an idea as to which way LaCava is leaning in terms of his decision. For more information on LaCava, check out Ben Nicholson Smith’s GM candidate preview on LaCava over at MLB Trade Rumors.