Tag:Evan Brunell
Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:49 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Nationals re-sign Chien-Ming Wang

WangBy Evan Brunell

The Nationals have agreed to a deal in principle with starter Chien-Ming Wang, SI.com's Jon Heyman reports.

Wang has been with Washington for the last two seasons but only made his Nats debut in late July after recovering from shoulder problems that jettisoned him from the Yankees. The groundball artist made 11 starts and walked away with a 4.04 ERA in 62 1/3 innings. While his strikeout numbers have always been low, the fact he only punched out 25 is cause for concern. On the bright side, he allowed a skimpy 13 walks, which is a big reason for his success.

Now that the 31-year-old will presumably enter spring training healthy, he could enjoy a productive season. When right, Wang lets hitters beat themselves by either striking them out just enough to keep them honest or forcing batters to beat the ball in the ground. To that extent, he needs a strong infield defense behind him to get outs, and Washington's D is strong enough. What will be interesting to monitor is his fastball velocity. With a full offseason to rest and his shoulder problems finally behind him, can he tick his average fastball back up to 92 mph? That would be enough to address concerns about his long-term viability, even if he loses some control in ratcheting up the velocity. Many pitchers tend to need time to see their velocity recover after such major surgery and time away from the majors.

Wang figures to slot behind Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan in the rotation, leaving just one spot available for competition. Wang won't just be handed a spot, though, even though he's the favorite to secure a spot in the rotation.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:37 pm
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Posted on: November 2, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Marlins' Coghlan could open 2012 in minors

CoghlanBy Evan Brunell

Chris Coghlan won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

Three years later, he might be plying his trade for a minor league team.

“It’s been disappointing, really, the last two years,” Marlins president Larry Beinfest told the Palm Beach Post about Coghlan's struggles the last two seasons which may leave the youngster on the outside looking in next season.

The left-handed hitter burst on the scene in 2009, playing in 128 games and hitting .321 as he romped to the Rookie of the Year award and even placed 28th on the MVP ballot for his season which also included 31 doubles and nine homers, fairly strong power numbers. The future looked bright for Coghlan, who came up through the minors as a second baseman, but played left in 2009.

The following season, Coghlan regressed to a .266/.335/.383 line in 400 plate appearances, as his season was cut short in late July by a torn meniscus. Outside of a scorching June, Coghlan was essentially a waste last season, but he still had a bright future. One problem: shoulder and knee problems plagued Coghlan in 2011, limiting him to just 65 games where he hit .230/.296/.368 in 298 PA as the club tried to masquerade him as a center fielder. It didn't work, and he finished the year out in the minors.

“He needs to re-establish himself healthy, which we anticipate he will be with the knee or knees and come in and compete," Beinfest said. "We already know he can be an offensive force, a great left-handed hitter.”

Unfortunately for Coghlan, even if he heals up, he looks destined to open the season in the minors. The Marlins will be pursuing a center fielder which would presumably block Coghlan from a spot. It's possible that he could return to second or even slide over to third as has been previously debated, but Florida seems happy with Omar Infante at the keystone position, and there hasn't been any whispers about Coghlan heading to the hot corner. So center field it is, probably in Triple-A. But if he impresses in spring training, things could change.

“I think this is an important offseason and certainly spring training for Chris to get back to where he was when he won the rookie of the year,” Beinfest added.

The Marlins are looking to compete this season and could even trade Coghlan to another team willing to take a chance on the youngster. Florida hasn't been all that eager to trade young players in the past as they are cost-controllable, but that could start changing now that the Marlins are moving into a new stadium and boosting payroll in anticipation of higher revenues.

"I think we need to become a little more open, just in general," Beinfest told MLB.com of changing ways it usually does busines. "I think we've been very protective of our zero to three [years of experience] players because we've had to be, given our payroll challenges. I think we can open up a little more now."

The Marlins, who will change from Florida to Miami on Nov. 11 when it unveils its new logo and uniforms, plan to be aggressive in free agency this season although it remains to be seen just who they can reel in. If they can't get a center fielder, that would give Coghlan a second chance at contributing.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:28 pm
 

Baseball reveals Gold Glove winners

Molina

By Evan Brunell


For the first time, the Gold Gloves were unveiled in a televised presentation on Tuesday night. Below, you can find the results of the awards. Winners are chosen by managers and coaches who vote for players in their leagues and can't pick players on their own teams.

Catcher
AL: Matt Wieters, Orioles -- Wieters became the first Orioles catcher to win the award. I predicted Wieters would win the award in late September saying that "Runners fear Wieters' arm -- he's only allowed 56 stolen bases all season, while the next-lowest total among catchers who qualify for the batting title is J.P. Arencibia's 77, achieved in 10 less starts. Oh, and Wieters has nabbed 32 runners for a caught-stealing rate of 36 percent, a high percentage for a catcher.

NL: Yadier Molina, Cardinals (pictured) -- Obviously. He wins the award for the fourth straight year, the first time since Charles Johnson from 1995-98.

First base
AL: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox -- Gonzalez wins his third Gold Glove and pairs with second baseman Dustin Pedroia to keep the right side of the infield to one team in the AL. The same goes for the NL.

NL: Joey Votto, Reds -- Votto takes home his first Gold Glove award to put on the mantel along with his MVP trophy from 2010.

Second base
AL: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox -- This is Pedroia's second Gold Glove and first since 2008. As one of the best second basemen in the league, this was a no-brainer. "It's fun playing alongside him," Gonzalez said of Pedroia on ESPN2, saying the communication is top-notch between the two players.

NL: Brandon Phillips, Reds -- The color red really dominated first and second, as the Reds in the NL take home the awards at each respective position. Same with the AL and Red Sox. Phillips wins his third Gold Glove.

Third base
AL: Adrian Beltre, Rangers -- What I said back in September: "Beltre somehow only has two Gold Gloves despite a career of success. That success continues in 2011 in Texas, as Beltre has tremendous range compared with soft hands. Evan Longoria is a fantastic defender as well, but in the AL there simply is no comparison to Beltre."

NL: Placido Polanco, Phillies -- Back in September, C. Trent Rosecrans picked Pablo Sandoval of the Giants. "There are players with better defensive reputations than the Kung Fu Panda, but nobody's had a better year," he wrote. Gold Glove voters disagreed, and Polanco gets his third Gold Glove -- first at third base. He becomes the second major leaguer to win a Gold Glove at two separate positions, following Darin Erstad nabbing one for first base and outfield.

Shortstop
AL: Erick Aybar, Angels -- It's Aybar's first Gold Glove, and he's as good a pick as any to dethrone Derek Jeter's undeserved Gold Glove last season.

NL: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies -- Trent may not have gotten Sandoval right, but he nailed Tulo. "The Rockies may know a little something about drafting defensive shortstops -- they picked two of the best in the league, Tulowitzki and the Astros' Clint Barmes. Finally healthy, Barmes was outstanding defensively for the Astros, while Tulowitzki seems like the second coming of Cal Ripken," he wrote.

Left field
AL: Alex Gordon, Royals -- Gordon racked up the assists this year, but how do you not give this to Brett Gardner?

NL: Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks -- Parra grabs his first Gold Glove. I haven't heard Parra as a name among the elite defenders, but there you go. He appears worthy.

Center field
AL: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox -- Ellsbury's victory gives the Red Sox three Gold Glovers. It must be sweet music for the center fielder too, after being moved to left field to start 2010 amid reports of poor defense. Frankly, this is a stretch -- Ellsbury still takes poor routes to the ball. But he's fast, so that helps. It's the first time since 1979 Boston has three winners.

NL: Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- Really? Kemp is a poor center fielder, and it's really difficult to imagine Kemp as a Gold Glove finalist, never mind a victor. But we all know that Gold Glove awards usually aren't worth much, and in this case...

Right field
AL: Nick Markakis, Orioles -- Markakis is not a very good defender. In fact, he made my list as the AL's worst defensive right fielder. I wouldn't go so far as to say that anymore, but a Gold Glove? Frankly, though, I have a hard time getting worked up about who wins the Gold Glove because it's such an irrelevant and inefficient award. For true honoring of defensive prowess, check out the Fielding Bible winners.

NL: Andre Ethier, Dodgers -- It's just the second time in the 21st centery that outfield teammates have won a Gold Glove award. Ethier wins his first. Not quite deserved.

Pitcher
AL: Mark Buerhle, White Sox -- It's his third straight Gold Glove.

NL: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers -- It's the first award for Kershaw, who said on ESPN2 during the unveiling that he did not expect to win the award. Kershaw spoke about how pitchers fielding practice in spring training can get old, but it provides the basis for good defense. "Once you get out on the field, repetition helps it sink in," he said.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:27 pm
 

2011 free agent diamonds in the rough

Carroll, Crisp, Lidge

By Evan Brunell


The baseball free-agent class is a bear. Once you get beyond the first couple of names at each position that are eligible for free agency, you quickly dissolve into reading a list of retreads, never-weres or aging All-Stars. That will make it difficult for teams to fill holes via free agency, but at the same time, there are some names that are poised for bounceback seasons and are being overlooked. That's what this list is all about -- what players could contribute in 2012 given the chance, that are being overlooked right now?

Some of these names are true diamonds in the rough, while others are a product of choosing between bad or worse. But hitting right on one of these names could mean the difference between playing golf in October or getting a ring.

C: Chris Snyder

SnyderBack problems are never a good thing when it comes to catchers. If Snyder can recover from a herniated disc, however, he could give a team strong production as a backstop for minimal price. It wasn't all that long ago that Snyder had a long-term deal in hand from the Diamondbacks and was blocking Miguel Montero, but injuries sapped his production and he was shipped to Pittsburgh in 2010. Before the injury, Snyder showed signs of coming out of his slump. His plate discipline was still there, but he was driving balls with more authority. He didn't get enough playing time to accurately draw conclusions, but quality catchers are rare in baseball and Snyder should get another chance to show he belongs.

1B: Lyle Overbay

OverbayWhile age has caught up to Overbay, he still has something to offer as a first baseman. While one wouldn't have ever called him one of the better first baseman in the league in recent years, he did finish his Blue Jays career as a respectable first baseman. Problem is, he was anything but respectable with the Pirates and needed a late-season rejuvenation in Arizona to feel better about himself. At this point in Overbay's career, it would be a surprise if he found a full-time job at first somewhere, but Overbay is still capable of cracking doubles and providing solid (albeit unspectacular) defense. In a platoon role playing against just righties, Overbay could deliver.

2B: Aaron Hill

HillHill once hit 36 home runs, doing so in his breakout 2009 campaign as a 27-year-old. That bode well for the future, giving Toronto a beast in the middle of the order that played second, no less. Unfortunately for Hill, things took a turn for the worse in 2010 as he tried too hard to drive the ball over the fence. This season, Hill stopped trying to swing for the fences so much, but his offense was completely disastrous in every possibility, hitting .225/.270/.313 before the Jays gave up. Arizona saw what Hill could be like at his best, as the 29-year-old hit .315/.386/.492 down the stretch. That offers a lot of optimism moving forward, even if 2009 remains his high-water point. The mere fact he rebounded as well as he did with the Diamondbacks puts Hill in the category of low risk, high reward.

3B: Jamey Carroll

CarrollCarroll is actually one of the better names on the free-agent market, although that's mostly by default given the thin crop of free agents. Some may overlook Carroll for a third-base job given he has played second and short almost exclusively the last two seasons.  Yet, he's played more career games at third than shortstop (by one game), so he can handle the hot corner. In a market devoid of third basemen, teams would be well-served to look at Carroll to plug the hot corner and a fill-in across the diamond. The utility player has really emerged over the last two years with the Dodgers and is an above-average player. He won't excite you, but he won't give games away. Any team hoping to wins needs a Jamey Carroll as a complementary piece.

SS: Clint Barmes

BarmesBarmes is a criminally underrated shortstop who could solve a lot of problems for many teams -- the Brewers are one that springs to mind. The now-32-year-old was popular back in 2005 when he busted out in Colorado and fast becoming a darling of fans and media alike when he broke his left shoulder falling down a flight of stairs after carrying deer meat. Since then, Barmes has become a slick fielder who can't quite hit with the bat. But in the depressed scoring of the last two years, Barmes' bat has started looking better in comparison and hit .244/.312/.386 for Houston last year, numbers not that far off an average shortstop these days. And his fielding. Oh, his fielding. Bottom line, he can flat pick it and will come cheap enough that whatever production he gives will outstrip what he is being paid. Barmes is an average- to below-average hitter with superior defense and is head and shoulders better than, say, Yuniesky Betancourt.

LF: Felix Pie

PiePie was once supposed to solve the Cubs' problems in center field and usher in a new era of baseball in the Windy City. Instead, he got drummed out to Baltimore and for a while there, it looked as if he was yet another in a line of players that got away from Chicago. Except that Pie hit .220/.264/.280 in 175 at-bats after finally being primed to take over a starting role after slashing .274/.305/.413 in 308 PA in 2010. There's no getting around how bad Pie's 2011 was, but he will turn 27 at the beginning of February and his talent didn't just disappear overnight. Pie will struggle to find playing time on even rebuilding clubs, but it's too early to give up on the lefty.

CF: Coco Crisp

CrispIn a thin crop of free agents, it's easy to scan by Crisp's name and think he's just another name in a motley crew of unappetizing players. But Crisp could be a dynamic center fielder finally getting back in the groove for the first time since receiving the tall task of replacing Johnny Damon in Boston. Prior to linking up with Oakland for 2010, Crisp had never stolen more than 28 bases in a season (2007 Red Sox). He swiped 32 in 2010, and anted that all the way up to 49, leading the league and being caught just nine times. In addition, playing in his cavernous home stadium doesn't do justice to his bat, which has been the best over the last two seasons since 2004-05 with the Indians. Don't look past this guy.

RF: Magglio Ordonez

OrdonezOrdonez may opt for retirement after breaking his right ankle for a second time, but if he tries to give it another go next season, Ordonez could be the perfect salve for a team looking to plug a gap in the outfield or DH.  Ordonez's final season line of .255/.303/.331 in 357 plate appearances looks horribly weak, but he hit .354 from Aug. 12 on, and was 5-for-11 in the ALDS. The 37-year-old reported that his surgically-repaired right ankle, which hadn't been feeling right after breaking it in June 2010, was finally starting to come around. Then he broke it again in the ALCS. If he can bounce back, it appears as if Ordonez has enough left in his bat to hit over .300. However, if he chooses to play again, he may be forced to sign late and prove to teams he's fully healthy.

SP: Hisashi Iwakuma

IwakumaDon't forget about Iwakuma, who could have been pitching for the Athletics in 2011 had negotiations between Oakland and Iwakuma's agent, Don Nelson, not broken down. This season, the lefty is free to negotiate with any team as he is now an unrestricted international free agent. He appears likely to jump stateside, and will draw quite a bit of interest from teams. Once the top names on the starting pitching market sign, Iwakuma could quickly rise to the top of the list. He's known for his control and walking just 19 in 17 games in Japan ball in 2011. The 30-year-old finished with a 2.42 ERA in 119 innings after spending two years as a reliever. Teams may be concerned about his ability to handle the demands of a MLB rotation as opposed to Japan, where starters take their turns once a week.

RP: Mike Gonzalez

GonzalezIt seems as if Gonzalez's luster has diminished in recent years not just because of injury problems, but thanks to pitching in Baltimore. You'd do well not to overlook Gonzalez, however, who throws hard. From the left side, that's rare to see, and when healthy, the 33-year-old can be one of the most dominant relievers in the league. Gonzalez pitched a total of 53 1/3 innings in 2011, split between the Orioles and Rangers. His strikeout rate, while not as high as recent years, still remains high and he displayed some of the best control of his career this past season as well and a subsequent dip in fastball velocity was not recorded. In Texas, he took on the role of a lefty specialist which was the best way to use him in '11, but this is a guy who can function as a top-notch setup man for any team in the league.

CL: Brad Lidge

LidgeLidge was supposed to spend the entire year as the Phillies' closer, but that changed when injuries struck yet again. Fortunately, Lidge was able to recover to pitch 19 1/3 innings down the stretch and proved he could still strike out batters despite a fastball that couldn't reach over 90 and relying too often on his slider. With an entire offseason to rest, it's possible Lidge could reclaim some of his lost fastball velocity, which would reduce his reliance on a slider. Control is a problem, as evidenced by his 13 unintentional walks (against 23 strikeouts), but he showed improved control in September, walking just four and punching out 11 in 9 1/3 innings. That was a major step forward from August, when he walked seven in 7 1/3 innings. There are a lot of closers on the free agent market, so Lidge will struggle to find a team that could give him a shot to close, but could end up as baseball's comeback player of the year in 2012 if all breaks right.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:17 pm
 

Mark Cuban tried to buy Dodgers

Cuban


By Evan Brunell


Mark Cuban, whom many have seen as a savior if only baseball would allow him to buy a team, tells the Los Angeles Times that he looked into buying the Dodgers only to balk at the asking price.

Current owner Frank McCourt, who may be close to reaching a settlement with MLB to sell his team and emerge from bankruptcy, valued the club at $1 billion to $1.2 billion, causing Cuban to pass.

"At that price, I wasn't interested," Cuban said. He later added that should the price come down, he would be interested in purchasing the team. However, that price is expected to be met in any settlement or sale of the team. The assets being sold aren't just the team itself, but Dodger Stadium and additional assets, such as parking lots around the stadium. McCourt's attorneys valued the whole price at over $1 billion in recent court filings. Forbes valued the assets at $800 million in March.

Cuban missed out on buying the Cubs and then lost out on the Rangers in a bankruptcy auction in the summer of 2010. Nolan Ryan's group eventually bought the Rangers for $593 million.

"I don't think the Dodgers franchise is worth twice what the Rangers are worth," Cuban said, also noting that stadium renovations would affect any sale price. Cuban ticked off stadium renovation, losing luxury-suite customers to an expected NFL team in Los Angeles and the absence of a salary cap as an impetus toward owning a baseball team. Cuban says that if the sale price is too high, he would pass because it would compromise his ability to invest in the team.

However, the new owner of the Dodgers is going to be able to negotiate a new television deal. McCourt had previously agreed to a $3 billion deal with Fox Sports before commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal, sparking the situation McCourt and the Dodgers find themselves in today. Cuban did admit that a new TV deal, which could fetch even more money, could help, but would not want to borrow against that money to finance the team -- something McCourt has no problem doing, as well as borrowing to finance his own divorce and personal assets.

"I don't want to be in a position to have a lot of debt," Cuban said. "Those would be dollars that could not be used to put together a winning team."

And yet, we now see that he's tried to own a baseball team three separate times, so the desire is clearly there. The Dodgers would be a fantastic get for Cuban as one of the most storied franchises in sports. The investor currently owns the Dallas Mavericks, which won the NBA championship last season.

Read more McCourt coverage from Eye on Baseball.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:01 pm
 

AFL Rising Stars rosters announced

By Evan Brunell

The Arizona Fall League has announced the roster of its annual "Rising Stars" Game, designed to showcase the best of the best prospects in advance of baseball stardom. Two phenoms in Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, widely regarded to be the top two prospects in the game, will participate. Last season, the game boasted, among others, Seattle's Dustin Ackley and Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.

The AFL, which is staffed mostly by the game's elite prospects, will hold the game at 8:10 p.m. ET on Nov. 5 and will be televised by the MLB Network and MLB.TV.

Each team has the chance to play at least one of its prospects in the game, so it does function in a way like the All-Star Game. The first two selections of the 2011 amateur draft will be opposing each other to start the game. The Pirates' Gerrit Cole will pitch for the East on behalf of the Mesa Solar Sox. He will oppose the Mariners' Danny Hultzen, pitching for the West and representing the Peoria Javelinas.

Full rosters are below.

EAST

Catchers
Jason Castro, Astros
Derek Norris, Nationals

Infielders
2B Joe Panik, Giants
1B Ben Paulsen, Rockies
SS Jean Segura, Angels
3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS Brian Dozier, Twins
SS/3B Junior Lake, Cubs
3B Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox

Outfielders
Mike Trout, Angels
Tim Wheeler, Rockies
Xavier Avery, Orioles
Robbie Grossman, Pirates
Bryce Harper, Nationals

Pitchers
RHP Steve Ames, Dodgers
RHP Charles Brewer, Diamondbacks
RHP Chris Carpenter, Cubs
RHP David Carpenter, Angels
RHP Kevin Munson, Diamondbacks
RHP Rob Scahill, Rockies
RHP Casey Weathers, Rockies
RHP Gerrit Cole, Pirates
LHP Jacob Diekman, Phillies
RHP Terry Doyle, White Sox
RHP Trey McNutt, Cubs

WEST

Catchers
Christian Bethancourt, Braves
Kyle Skipworth, Marlins

Infielders
SS Nick Franklin, Mariners
3B Mike Olt, Rangers
1B Joe Terdoslavich, Braves
1B Matt Adams, Cardinals
2B Tyler Bortnick, Rays
SS Christian Colon, Royals
3B Matt Dominguez, Marlins

Outfielders
Michael Choice, Athletics
Jaff Decker, Padres
Anthony Gose, Blue Jays
Mikie Mahtook, Rays
Wil Myers, Royals

Pitchers
LHP Danny Hultzen, Mariners
RHP Jeremy Jeffress, Royals
RHP Taylor Whitenton, Mets
RHP Nate Adcock, Royals
RHP Anthony Bass, Padres
RHP Brad Boxberger, Reds
LHP Jed Bradley, Brewers
RHP Cory Burns, Indians
RHP Wes Etheridge, Blue Jays
RHP Preston Guilmet, Indians
RHP J.J. Hoover, Braves

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Blue Jays' Tony LaCava turns down Orioles GM job

LaCava

By Evan Brunell


The Orioles' search for a general manager will continue after Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava declined an offer to take over the Orioles.

“I'm working in a great place, a job that I love. It’s just as simple as that," LaCava told the Baltimore Sun by way of explanation."I really, really treasure my relationship with [Toronto] general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, and I really want to see this through with him."

This is a surprise, as Toronto was readying for LaCava's departure. The 50-year-old was meeting Orioles owner Peter Angelos for the first time on Monday, likely discussing the terms of his employment, the Baltimore Sun wrote. The Orioles were not doing a second round of interviews, so the fact LaCava was back in town and meeting with Angelos spoke volumes. He must not have liked what he heard.

Baltimore's GM job is not exactly seen as a plum job in baseball. The O's play in a very difficult division and arguably are the worst team in the division as far as resources are concerned, whether financial, organizationally, or major- and minor-league talent. In addition, Angelos is a meddling owner who still hasn't learned that the O's have struggled since the mid-1990s because of his over-involvement.

LaCava, for his part, tried to deflect that aspect of turning down the job by telling the Sun, “This was about the Toronto Blue Jays more than it is anything about the Orioles. ... They were classy in everything they did."

But this is a man that has waited about a decade for a GM job. There are only 30 GM jobs in the league and the fact LaCava turned down what would be his first GM job speaks volumes.

The O's have only interviewed three other candidates. One was Jerry DiPoto, who was hired as the Angels GM last week. The other two are Baltimore director of player development John Stockstill and Dodgers assistant GM De Jon Watson. The Orioles may re-open the field to interview candidates, especially now that the World Series is over. Stockstill isn't a well-known name and while Watson's name has surfaced in recent seasons as a potential GM candidate, he hasn't been a popular name. LaCava, of the three remaining candidates, was the clear top dog. MASN says Baltimore could interview Rangers' senior director of player personnel, A.J. Preller. Hometown candidate Thad Levine, who is Texas' assistant GM, could also receive consideration.

Unfortunately, it appears things are only backsliding in Baltimore. Ex-GM Andy MacPhail was able to wrest more control from Angelos than any other GM had, and for a while there, it looked like it was paying off. However, the last two years saw the organization stall, if not regress, in its progress and MacPhail chose to leave the organization despite Angelos' attempts for him to stay. The way the process has gone to interview a new GM, it appears as if what power MacPhail had was a one-time thing only and Baltimore is back to looking for someone to do Angelos' bidding.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com