MLB rumors roundup for Oct. 9


The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interviewing Kim Ng for the GM vacancy, which represents the last opportunity of this hiring season to expand MLB's (slim) pool of minority general managers.

Ng, who is the current senior vice president of baseball operations at the MLB Central office, has previously interviewed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. If the Phillies hire Ng, she will be the first female GM in baseball history. She would also be the fourth minority GM out of 30 total GM jobs.

Ng's pursuit of the Phillies' GM seat invites discussion over diversity -- or lack thereof -- in executive and managing roles. Few would doubt that experience, qualification and team "fit" should be the foremost factors when evaluating candidates during the hiring process. That said, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he is "concerned" that central offices "have to do a better job" increasing, at the very least, even the possibility that minority candidates would be in a hiring position for such roles in the first place. In particular, Manfred would like to better prepare minority candidates for executive positions, as well as encourage their hiring in entry-level positions to deepen the pool of minority candidates that could later be considered.

There are a number of other executives that the Phillies have shown rumored interest in, however. Topping that list are Angels assistant GM Matt Klentak, Kansas City Royals assistant GM J.J. Piccolo, Texas Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine and former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.

Here is the other buzz making its way around the majors today:

  • Atlanta Braves: Pitching and catching upgrades are the Braves' priorities this winter, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It is possible that Atlanta will aim to re-sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hit well for the Braves this season. The team could also express interest in Baltimore Orioles catcher and Georgia native Matt Wieters.

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds' bullpen is in a state of utter disarray, and the growing likelihood of Aroldis Chapman's departure this winter doesn't help. So, does Cincinnati turn to its farm system or the free-agent market to plug the gaps? John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer cautions against pursuing free agents. Fay cited last offseason's additions of Kevin Gregg (disastrous) and Burke Badenhop (disastrous but then okay) as reasons to avoid going down the same path this winter. There is the more tolerable possibility of signing a veteran closer to a short, affordable, Jason Grilli-type contract if Chapman is traded. For the most part, however, Fay suggests the Reds use their young arms to rebuild the bullpen. Michael Lorenzen, Keyvius Sampson, John Lamb, Jon Moscot, Josh Smith, Brandon Finnegan and David Holmberg all made starts for the Reds this year. None were consistent enough to be successful rookie starters, but they are workable as relievers. Cincinnati also has prospects Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett and Cody Reed. All three have higher ceilings than the players in the previous bunch, but they likely won't be ready for big-league innings by Opening Day.