MINNEAPOLIS -- D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa reached out to Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto on Friday morning, shortly after dismissing Kevin Towers as GM, because he wanted to interview Dipoto's director of pro scouting, Hal Morris, for the vacant position.
Morris is currently in Japan, with Angels scouts and others throughout baseball to look at 26-year-old right-hander Kenta Maeda, who's expected to garner plenty of attention if he's posted this winter.
Upon returning to the U.S., Morris will be among a handful of candidates interviewing for the GM job in Arizona.
Morris is known mostly for his 13-year career as a Major League first baseman, most notably the 10 seasons he spent in Cincinnati. After his final season in 2000, Morris earned an MBA from Stanford University, worked in real estate private equity, spent three years as a scout -- two years scouting amateurs with the Pirates, one year scouting pros with the Red Sox -- then became one of Dipoto's first hires when he got the job as Angels GM in October 2011.
"Hal is often the smartest guy in the room, and you'd never know it," Dipoto said. "He doesn't portray that. He's more likely to listen than to speak. He learns something in every setting. He's extremely detailed, he's very organized. Obviously he's had a long career, from the time he started playing to where we're standing here today in our pro-scouting department. He's a good evaluator; he's got a good feel for people. I'm really happy that others are noticing that."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.