Will Caleb Solomon be the next editor of the Globe?

If I were a betting man, I'd say the next editor of the Boston Globe will be either Managing Editor Caleb Solomon, the newsroom's current number two; or former Globe Washington Bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize winner, David Shribman, who now helms the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

No one but a handful of executives at the New York Times, which owns the Globe, and Globe publisher Christopher Mayer, know who is in the running.

Highly regarded editor Martin Baron, who leaves the Globe all but a legend to most of his staff, is scheduled to exit Morrissey Boulevard this Friday.

Early next year, Baron, who helped bring four Pulitzers to the Globe during his 11 year tenure,  will assume control of the Washington Post newsroom and digital operation.

Some who claim a sliver of knowledge about the selection process say the winnowing has begun.

According to the more responsible elements of the rumor mill, these are the candidates:

--Editorial Page Editor (and Boston Phoenix Alumnus), Peter Cannellos. Seen at first as a shoo in, his chances, according to wags, have slipped. Canellos's operational purview is high profile, but narrow.

--Metro Big-Foot Columnist and one-time Metropolitan Editor, Brian McGrory. Maybe I'm wrong, but running a newspaper today is about as difficult a job as performing brain surgery with power tools. Having left the trenches of management for the lotus fields of opinion mongering, I just don't see McGrory getting tapped.

--Managing Editor, Caleb Solomon. Solomon is number two to Baron. Solomon is directly behind Baron in the line of succession. The business folk who make these executive decisions tend toward linear thinking. Solomon, presumably, is well acquainted with budgeting, personnel, technology issues, and long-term advertising strategy. As one ad salesman said to me: "The future is about online more than the print edition and Caleb is the only guy who knows how both work."

--New York Times Metro Editor Carolyn Ryan, who once performed the same job at the Globe, was another early favorite. The rumor mill has recently quieted about Ryan's candidacy. That could mean one of two things: she's not a player, or she'll be the surprise pick.

--Former Globe Managing Editor and current Editor of the Denver Post, Gregory Moore. Moore is a name on many lips until they remember that his wife was less than fond of living in Boston. Moore's circle of friends at the Globe say they don't think it's what he wants to do next.

--Editor of the Pittsburgh Gazette and former Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Bureau Chief, David Shribman.  "The Times loves quality," says one current staffer, "and Shribman with his Dartmouth degree is the embodiment of that."

Shribman might be the leader of the pack among the Globe outsiders, but my money is on Solomon.

If I'm right, Caleb can buy me a cup of espresso (Caffé Dello Sport, Hanover Street). If I'm wrong, I'll buy him a drink at the saloon of his choice.

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