Report: Jerry Dipoto was first to turn down the Orioles

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On the heels of Tuesday’s news that Blue Jays assistant GM Tony Lacava turned down the Orioles’ GM opening comes word from ESPN’s Buster Olney today that Jerry Dipoto was originally Baltimore’s top choice, but that he withdrew from the process following his interview.

Dipoto has since been named GM of the Angels.

After relaying the news, which came from an undisclosed source, Olney went on to tweet:

There are other highly regarded assistant GMs telling friends they would not consider O’s job if called. O’s have major perception problem.

That’s apparently in addition to the reality problem they’ve struggled with for years.

Braves are targeting Dallas Keuchel

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LAS VEGAS — Let’s start our first weekday of the Winter Meetings with some rumors and speculation. We’ll have a good bit of that until, you know, something actually happens.

First up: Dallas Keuchel, the top free agent pitcher remaining on the market. Jon Heyman says the Braves, who are in the market for a starter, are targeting him. In this they are not alone, as the Phillies, who missed out on Patrick Corbin, and the Reds, who would like a pitcher who doesn’t allow a lot of fly balls are each reported to be focused on Keuchel as well. There was a random report that the Blue Jays were interested in him too, but that seems off to me given where they are on their rebuild.

Keuchel, who will turn 31 on New Year’s Day, was 12-11 in 34 starts last year, posting an ERA of 3.74 in 204.2 innings. His peripherals have declined fairly consistently since his Cy Young season in 2015, so the question is whether the team that signs him is paying for his past or for what he might reasonably be expected to provide in the future.