O's near closure of deal with GM Ex-Jays chief Gillick says he is not the one

November 27, 1995|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

The Orioles are close to completing a deal with a general manager candidate, according to club sources, and may reveal the identity of their next GM as soon as today.

The name of the possible replacement for Roland Hemond, who resigned Oct. 20, has become a closely guarded secret within the organization.

One club official last night indicated he is under strict orders to keep mum about front-running candidates. Two Orioles sources indicated yesterday that the deal with Hemond's possible successor neared closure at the end of last week, after almost two months of interviewing candidates.

According to baseball sources, the Orioles repeatedly have asked former Toronto Blue Jays president Pat Gillick to come out of retirement and run the club. Gillick built Toronto into a modern-day dynasty -- the Blue Jays won World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, rare back-to-back championships in this age of free agency.

But Gillick said last night that he is not the mystery GM.

For several weeks, former Montreal Expos GM Kevin Malone appeared to be the front-runner, but he said last night that he had not had recent contact with the Orioles.

Ex-Detroit Tigers GM Joe Klein and New York Mets scouting director John Barr, who both had strong interviews with owner Peter Angelos and club counsel Russell Smouse, indicated they hadn't been contacted by the team to negotiate a contract or to be told they were out of the running.

The Orioles also interviewed former New York Yankees GM Gene Michael and former St. Louis Cardinals GM Dal Maxvill. A club source repeated yesterday that Orioles farm director Syd Thrift, who has served as general manager, is not a candidate.

The intrigue could end today.

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