Pirates GM Search: Zduriencik surfaces as likely candidate

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The Pirates, who already might have conducted at least two interviews for their vacant general manager position, might be about to add a third interview to their list.

Milwaukee Brewer general manager Doug Melvin yesterday told MLB.com that "there's probably going to be a time this week" that the Pirates will ask permission to interview Jack Zduriencik for their GM job.

"I anticipate that they will [ask] in the next few days," Melvin said. "But that's Pittsburgh's decision [whether] to tell the media."

It would seem the Pirates' decision in that regard is not to tell the media.

Frank Coonelly, the team's new president, is on record as feeling "it is counter-productive to the process to respond every time someone speculates on who [the new general manager] may be."

Zduriencik, a former scouting director for the Pirates, is in his eighth year with the Brewers, whom he serves as special assistant to the general manager and scouting director.

Zduriencik was instrumental in signing Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks, standout young players who have helped Milwaukee contend for the National League Central championship.

Zduriencik, from New Castle, Pa., did not return e-mail or telephone messages from the Post-Gazette yesterday.

SI.com reported Friday that the Pirates have interviewed Tony Bernazard, the New York Mets' vice-president for player development, and Tony LaCava, the Oakmont resident who is player personnel director for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bernazard has not confirmed he was interviewed, and LaCava has not returned phone calls from the Post-Gazette.

The Houston Astros reportedly are close to naming Ruben Amaro Jr. their new general manager. That could happen as early as today. Amaro, Philadelphia's assistant general manager, was thought to be under some consideration by the Pirates, but the team did not seek permission to interview him.

It is believed that Ed Wade, who worked with Amaro in Philadelphia as the Phillies' general manager, will accompany Amaro to the Astros as a senior adviser.

Another name that could surface in the Pirates' search is Logan White, the assistant general manager for scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of last night, however, the Pirates have not asked the Dodgers for permission to talk to him.

There was some speculation yesterday that the Pirates could have a short interview list and could make the announcement about a new general manager Monday, an off-day for the team before it begins its final homestand of the season Tuesday.


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