I would like to touch on a topic that I have been reading tons about recently. Everybody seems to want to comment on the future of current Orioles GM (President of Baseball Operations), Andy MacPhail. MacPhail took over the helm with the Orioles in 2007. He came from the Chicago Cubs organization where he was the President/CEO.
MacPhail is a respected baseball executive, so much so that Peter Angelos was willing to give him full authority over team transactions. Those of you who are Orioles fans know that Angelos giving control to a GM is no easy task.
During his tenure, MacPhail has brought in some impact bats in Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones through free agency and trades. He also resigned outfielder Nick Markakis to a six-year $66 million extension. He said that his philosophy regarding players has been “Buy the bats and grow the arms”.
That has yet to be fully realized as far as organizational depth is concerned. Our pitching is shaky and inconsistent. We made offseason gambles with the signings of veterans Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, both of whom fell short of expectations. Lee was eventually shipped off to the Pirates.
The reason I bring all this up is because Andy MacPhail’s contract ends at the conclusion of this season and inside sources have been saying he will remain with the franchise. MacPhail has often been mentioned as a potential successor to current MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Selig, in office since 2008, will see his contract expire in 2012. He has said he plans to retire, which would vacate the position for someone new.
Many may be wondering who will succeed MacPhail if he steps down after the season? I have read that people are sure manager, Buck Showalter will have a say in the new GM. It was even rumored that Showalter may take the helm, but Buck himself shot that rumor down. Someone who worked with Showalter back in Texas, former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart, may be in the mix. Currently, Hart currently serves as an advisor to Rangers GM Jon Daniels. Hart also held positions as both a minor league manager and then third base coach in the majors with the Orioles organization. Therefore, a reunion may not be as crazy as it sounds.
Some reports say the Orioles have interest in Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM, but I personally do not see that coming to fruition. The Orioles may very well fill the void by promoting from within. Either way, I think a change in the front office is necessary for the team moving forward if we as fans expect them to be able to compete in the very tough AL East division.