BALTIMORE -- The Orioles took the next step in their search to replace president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail on Tuesday by interviewing D-backs executive Jerry Dipoto.
Dipoto, who served as Arizona's interim general manager before the club hired Kevin Towers, interviewed in Baltimore with a group that included Orioles principal owner Peter Angelos and manager Buck Showalter. The scheduled meeting was confirmed by a baseball source who reiterated the growing speculation that Dipoto is a strong candidate for the vacancy.
A New Jersey native, Dipoto played college baseball at Virginia Commonwealth University and spent parts of eight seasons as a Major League reliever. His current title as Arizona's senior vice president of scouting and player development fits the bill regarding Baltimore's search, as the organization desperately needs to fix its Minor League and development operations, an area that improved under MacPhail but still lags behind.
The 43-year-old Dipoto, who got his start with the Rockies, was also part of a Red Sox front office that won the World Series in 2004.
Dipoto is the first candidate the Orioles have interviewed and, according to the Los Angeles Times, he is expected to interview for the Angels' GM vacancy along with Yankees executives Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler. The Orioles are expected to bring in Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava on Wednesday. LaCava is also considered to be high on the Orioles' list.
The Orioles are also tasked with filling the role of scouting director -- with Joe Jordan's announced departure last week -- and as at least two coaching vacancies, with no permanent bullpen coach and Willie Randolph not returning as third-base coach. Randolph was not issued a contract for 2012, while the bullpen vacancy was created when Rick Adair assumed the role of pitching coach.
While none of the other coaching positions have been finalized -- along with the scouting director job, they likely will not be until the GM situation is resolved -- it is expected that John Russell will remain the team's bench coach. Russell started the 2011 season at third base before switching positions with Randolph in June.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.