BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will interview John Stockstill, their director of player development, for the vacant general manager/president position, marking their first internal candidate -- and fourth overall -- in a search process that appears to be nearing an end.
The interview is slated to take place in Baltimore on Friday. It follows Wednesday's meetings with Jerry Dipoto, Arizona's senior vice president of scouting and player development; Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays' assistant GM; and De Jon Watson, the Dodgers' assistant GM.
Thursday's news that Stockstill will get a turn in the interview room was first reported by the Baltimore Sun, and the news is surprising given the rumors and speculation that has surrounded the other three candidates since Andy MacPhail announced his departure.
But the 51-year-old Stockstill has a background in player development and scouting -- most notably finding Japanese right-hander Koji Uehara -- two components that are important to the organization. He recently returned from a trip to Japan to further scout talent.
Stockstill has served multiple positions in six seasons in the organization, including director of international scouting, and there was some speculation that his role as player development director would change for 2012 given the scrutiny the O's system has generated lately.
Stockstill's interview could be the final one, as one source close to the situation said that the organization is "closing in" on the first round of interviews. In the best-case scenario, an announcement would come before the free-agency period begins, with whoever assumes the president/GM role expected to have heavy say in who will replace Joe Jordan as scouting director.
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.