The search for a new general manager has led to the selection of four finalists, and the Seattle Mariners could complete the process in time to announce their decision before the World Series begins next week.
That list of finalists is Jerry DiPoto (Diamondbacks), Kim Ng (Dodgers), Tony LaCava (Blue Jays) and Jack Zduriencik (Brewers).
All come with immense potential and solid resumes as assistant GMs, and Zduriencik (pronounced Zur-en-sik) has as intriguing a background as any.
Now 57, he was named Baseball America's Executive of the Year in 2007 as the Brewers scouting director, and is credited by GM Doug Melvin for the drafts of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks.
A former high school football and baseball coach, Zduriencik began his scouting career with the New York Mets, and has worked with the Dodgers and Pirates before joining Milwaukee.
The second round of interviews with both president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln doing the questioning, began Thursday in Seattle. If the team wants to make a hire – and an announcement – before the World Series begins, that gives them until Tuesday.
Making the hire before instead of after would give a new Mariners GM an extra 7-10 days on the job.
Some background on the other three finalists:
DiPoto, 40, has worked for Boston, Colorado and Arizona after an eight-year major league career as a relief pitcher. One of Theo Epstein's right-hand men during Boston's run to the World Series title in 2004, he's been considered a GM-in-waiting since going to the Diamondbacks.
Ng (pronounced 'ang') is 39, and has worked for the New York Yankees, the MLB front office and the Dodgers, working her way through most departments under the control of a GM. Her expertise is in player development and handled arbitration cases for New York. She would be the first woman GM in Major League history.
LaCava, 47, has worked for the Braves, Angels, Expos and Indians before lighting in Toronto, and has a strong history in scouting. Has been a finalist in several GM searches, including last year in Pittsburgh and Baseball Prospectus has named him among the top five GM candidates in the game this year.