Thursday, September 22, 2016

President Candidates Narrowed To Five

Photo Credit: Jerry Lai, USA Today Sports
Minnesota's search for a new president of baseball operations might be getting closer to completion. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports the Twins front-office interviews could stop at five candidates. The list includes one internal option and four options with various roles throughout baseball.

As recently as last week, there were reports that "multiple GM types have rebuffed" the Twins interest. There are plenty of issues within the offices of 1 Twins Way and it is going to take some time to rebuild the team's infrastructure.

With a young core that includes the likes of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, there are pieces to build around. Minnesota also looks to be headed toward the number one overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. This would be another cornerstone piece and an attractive incentive for a potential hire.

So who are the candidates and what should fans know about their credentials?

Rob Antony
Current Position: Interim GM, Minnesota Twins
Antony is the only internal candidate that will be granted a formal interview for the Twins' president of baseball operations role. His interview has already been conducted and he has served as the team's general manager since Terry Ryan was fired two weeks before the trade deadline.

Antony was able to make a handful of deals at the deadline including dumping the contract of Ricky Nolasco. Even with this moves, it seems like the Twins are destined to look outside the organization for some new ideas and a new direction. Antony has been with the Twins since being hired as a public relations intern in 1987.

Jason McLeod
Current Position: Senior VP of Player Development , Chicago Cubs
Earlier this week, Buster Olney reported that McLeod "has done well in the Twins' interview process." He went on to say he is "well-regarded" and "well-positioned" in Minnesota discussions. In the days following Ryan's firing, I said the Twins should focus their attention on McLeod because of his connections to Theo Epstein. Epstein is widely regarded as the top front office mind in the game.

McLeod has worked with Epstein since the beginning and he has been rumored to be a candidate for multiple jobs through the years. Some of his player development successes include Dustin Pedroia, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. He's also done a good job of finding undervalued pitchers like last year's NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.

J.J. Picollo
Current Position: VP/Assistant GM-Player Personnel, Kansas City Royals
The Royals have been one of the darlings of the baseball world over the last two seasons. The Twins have gotten a first hand look as the Royals rolled through the AL Central in 2014 and 2015 on the way to back-to-back AL pennants. He has worked with the Royals since 2006 and has held the titles of Director of Player Development and Assistant GM- Scouting and Player Development.

Before coming to Kansas City, Picollo worked as an Area Scouting Supervisor in the Braves organization. He worked for Atlanta from 1999-2005 with his highest title being Director of Minor League Operations. As recently as last off-season, he was a finalist for Philadelphia's GM opening.

Chaim Bloom
Current Position: VP of Baseball Operations, Tampa Bay Rays
After graduation from Yale University in 2004, Bloom was hired by Tampa Bay as an intern. He has moved quickly through their ranks from assistant in baseball operations to assistant director of minor league operations in 2008. Other positions he has held include director of baseball operations and vice president of baseball operations.

According to the Rays, his current duties include overseeing "all aspects of the baseball operations department, including the Rays international scouting efforts and both domestic and international player development." He also assists the Ray's president of baseball operations with many of the day-to-day aspects of running the baseball operations side of their club. This could be vital with the Twins looking to create a new position in their organization.

Derek Falvey
Current Position: Assistant GM , Cleveland Indians
At 32-years old, Falvey was promoted to Cleveland's assistant general manager last October. He is in his ninth year in the Indian's organization. Before the move to his current position, Falvey spent four years as the Indian's director of baseball operations. He started his baseball career as an intern with the Indians in 2007 before moving to the role of Assistant, Scouting Operations.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan labeled Falvey as "emerging as a strong candidate for Minnesota Twins president job." He went on to say, "Falvey is extremely well-regarded in [the] industry." His young age and rapid rise in the Indians organization could all help his cause. The Twins don't switch front office personnel very often so a young, passionate person could hold the spot down for years.

Which candidate stands out to you? Who would you like the Twins to hire? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

No comments: