Orioles and Angels take different paths in GM search

As you know, the Orioles will interview Dodgers executive De Jon Watson tomorrow morning, making him the third candidate to fly into Baltimore. Jerry Dipoto and Tony LaCava beat him here.

The Angels also are in the midst of a GM search, but I don't see many similarities in the two lists.

The Angels also have targeted Dipoto, and both teams could contact Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine once the World Series ends.

Andrew Friedman (Rays) and Damon Oppenheimer (Yankees) already have met with Los Angeles' search committee.

I've also seen the following names linked to the Angels' job: Kim Ng (commissioner's office), Omar Minaya (formerly Mets), Rick Hahn (White Sox), Billy Eppler (Yankees), Dan Evans (formerly Dodgers) and Tory Hernandez (Angels).

Am I missing anyone?

We don't have a lot of crossover between the two clubs.

The Angels don't appear to be in a major rush, though they want a new executive in place once the free agent market opens for business. That would also be the ideal timetable for the Orioles.

How quickly the Orioles make a hire depends on the number of candidates who follow Watson into Baltimore. They could expand the search, but it would be hard to argue against any of the executives they've contacted so far.

Shifting topics, Triple-A pitcher Steve Johnson tossed three scoreless innings yesterday for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one. He also bled once, but that happened before the game even started.

Johnson was the victim of a freakish accident while warming in the bullpen. He reached for a return throw from catcher Brian Ward, and the ball nicked his glove and slammed into the bridge of his nose.

"I think I'm good," he told me last night. "I don't think it's broken. It was kind of a precautionary thing. It just really swelled up.

"I was about to throw my last bullpen pitch and get the ball back. I was telling him, 'One more,' as the ball was coming back, and it kind of cut a little bit and tipped off the top of my glove and nailed me in the nose. I didn't think anything of it. My eyes were watering. Anytime you get hit in the nose, that happens, so I was waiting for it to stop. Then he told me it was bleeding. I had a cut on the bridge of my nose. I went down and told them, 'Do whatever you need to do to stop the bleeding and let me get out there.'

"It was kind of a freak thing. I can't believe it squared me up that bad. But it is what it is."

This is par for the course for Johnson in the AFL. He made his previous start despite waking up with a fever.

"I felt pretty crappy, but I gutted my way through it," said Johnson, who's posted a 3.00 ERA in four starts. "I'm still getting over a cold and the congestion, but I feel fine. It's annoying more than anything. Then the nose thing happens. But those things happen. I just need to battle through it."

I'll post more comments from Johnson later, including his reasons for re-signing with the Orioles instead of becoming a minor league free agent.

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