It’s a time of change for the Orioles. Most notably, John and Lou Angelos have taken over regular operations from their father, Peter Angelos. The club has been without a manager since dismissing Buck Showalter, though that post figures to remain open for the time being. That’s because there’s an even more important hire in the works for the Angelos brothers, who are working to identify the person who’ll head up their baseball operations department.
In the interim, there is a small group of executives left over from Dan Duquette’s regime who are currently responsible for overseeing the roster moves in Baltimore this offseason. Brian Graham, the director of player development, is said to be handling the day-to-day operations as the interim GM. VP of baseball ops Brady Anderson and amateur scouting director Gary Rajsich are also present to weigh in on the offseason’s earliest action.
To this point, the Baltimore organization hasn’t settled on a job title for whomever becomes the organization’s top baseball decisionmaker. In and of itself this doesn’t mean much, but as the Athletic’s Dan Connolly pointed out in early October, there is a perplexing lack of clarity regarding division of labor moving forward. Brady Anderson, for one, has had significant negotiating responsibilities in the past, so his continued involvement is certainly notable, despite ownership’s claim that the new hire will have “final determination on all baseball matters”.
Here are the latest on the Orioles search:
Latest Updates – 11/10/18
- UPDATE: The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal now tweets that Tigers AGM David Chadd is no longer under consideration for the position in Baltimore. This coming on the heels of Chadd supposedly being a finalist for the position as of two days ago. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale had named Chadd as a finalist for the top spot in Baltimore (via Twitter), but that appears to no longer be the case.
- The Orioles are keeping most of the details regarding their GM search close to the vest, but Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reminds us (via Twitter) that their first priority is identifying the executive to head their baseball ops – that hire will have the prerogative to name their top assistant. The original plan was for the top hire to be given the title of President, but the exact nomenclature (more than the responsibilities) remains TBD. Presumably, this will depend upon who they bring aboard and what kind of title bump that individual requires.
- Regardless, there will be two eventual new hires to head up the O’s front office, and some names are starting to emerge. The oft-mentioned AGM of the Houston Astros Mike Elias remains in consideration, per the Athletic’s Dan Connolly, but two new names have entered the field as well: Phillies assistant GM Ned Rice and MLB Diversity Pipeline Director Tyrone Brooks. Before moving to the Phils front office in 2016, Ned Rice was an official with the Orioles for 11 years. Tyrone Brooks, for his part, took on the responsibility of driving diversity hires throughout MLB’s administrative levels in 2016 after Commissioner Rob Manfred created the role. He does has front office experience as well: he was a scout in the Indians organization before serving as an assistant GM with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2009-2016.
- Also of note, vice president Brady Anderson did not represent the Orioles at last week’s GM meetings, despite his home being only an hour away. Connolly wonders if this might have been a signal from ownership that the runway is, in fact, clear for the next hire to run things without demonstrative input from incumbent front office holdovers like Anderson.
Click to review the potential names under consideration and prior updates to the process:
Previous Updates – 11/6/18
- Astros assistant GM Mike Elias is seen as a top potential candidate to run things in Baltimore, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). He was boosted to an AGM role under Jeff Luhnow after David Stearns left Houston to run the Brewers’ baseball ops department. Elias is said to focus on player intake, including the draft and international amateur market.
- Several other executives have emerged as possible candidates, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Phillies assistant GM Ned Rice, whose roots are in the Orioles organization, has taken an interview. Likewise, John Angelos (who’s said to be running the process) has chatted with Tigers AGM David Chadd.
- There’s still no indication, however, that the process will move particularly quickly. Sherman tweets, in fact, that the O’s may not settle on a choice for several more weeks, explaining that ownership is “valuing thoroughness rather than overemphasizing this offseason’s work.” We heard recently that the club is also using the interview process to study other organizations, per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun.
- While thorough deliberation seems a sensible approach on the whole, it’ll likely mean missing on some opportunities in the meantime. (Though indications are that the Orioles are open for business. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, all players are open for discussion in trade talks.) Beyond the potential impact on the team’s roster decisions, the internal uncertainty will impact personnel. Indeed, the organization just lost its top analytics employee, Sarah Gelles, per Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com (via Twitter). Her departure for the stats-savvy ’Stros will surely represent a big loss for the O’s fledgling statistical department. Previously, the Orioles moved on from several other key members of their organization: Triple-A manager Ron Johnson, director of Dominican baseball operations Nelson Norman, East Coast scouting supervisor Kirk Fredriksson, special assistant Matt Haas, area scout Dana Duquette, as well as senior advisor Joe McIlvaine and special assignment scout Wayne Britton.
- Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun lists several names potentially under consideration, though he notes their current status is not quite clear. Blue Jays baseball ops VP Ben Cherington, former Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, assistant general manager for the Oakland A’s Dan Kantrovitz, and Houston Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias have at least drawn some consideration.
- Two of those men have experience at the helm of other organizations. Cherington, the former Red Sox GM, has previously expressed interest in building an organization from scratch, and the Orioles would certainly check that box. Colletti, meanwhile, has been in “consistent contact” with Orioles ownership. Way back on October 5th it was reported that Colletti had met with Orioles president John Angelos during the summer – but that meeting was before Duquette had been let go, and it remains unclear if Colletti’s discussions with ownership are at all related to a possible candidacy.
Other Potential Candidates
- At present, per Meoli, the Orioles do not plan to sit down with MLB executive Kim Ng. It’s still possible she’ll be brought into the search, however. Meoli also notes it’s possible the O’s will now look to speak with some of the executives who had been tied up in the World Series, though it’s not yet evident whether that’ll be the case.