The Orioles likely will have a general manager in place by the end of next week, owner Peter Angelos said yesterday, in time for the general manager meetings in Arizona.
"We've got some more time," Angelos said. "We're going to go about talking to [candidates] with all deliberate speed. We're going to cover all the bases, and make sure we consider every qualified candidate."
The Orioles have interviewed five candidates to replace Roland Hemond, four of whom are still available.
Former Montreal Expos GM Kevin Malone, 38, appears to be the front-runner. "A sharp young executive," said Orioles manager Davey Johnson. "Bright. He's had experience with the farm system."
The other three are: Joe Klein, 53, former GM of the Detroit Tigers; Mike Port, assistant GM of the Boston Red Sox, and Gene Michael, 57, former GM of the New York Yankees.
The Orioles previously asked permission to talk to Cleveland Indians assistant GM Dan O'Dowd, and he could become a leading candidate. But an AL source indicated yesterday owner Richard Jacobs appears steadfast in his refusal to grant permission.