Brady Anderson, who formerly served as the Orioles’ vice president of baseball operations, is “stepping aside” and leaving the organization, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports (via Twitter). Anderson, Gary Rajsich and Brian Graham were entrusted with interim oversight of the baseball operations department in Baltimore following the dismissal of GM Dan Duquette last winter, and less than a year later, the entire trio is gone from the organization. Rajsich’s contract wasn’t renewed for the 2019 season, while Graham was fired not long after new GM Mike Elias was hired.
Under the previous front-office regime, Anderson had seemingly risen to a fairly prominent standing. It’s been widely reported that he played a major role in the team’s signings of both Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner late in the 2018-19 offseason, although the Cobb signing has gone particularly awry. His role under Elias had been considerably less integral from a baseball operations vantage point, though; Anderson served in an advisory role with the team’s conditioning and fitness programs, per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. Whatever role the Orioles might’ve had in mind for him in 2020, if any, it seems that Anderson instead preferred to explore potential new opportunities.
A couple more notes out of Baltimore…
- Another 100-loss season hasn’t swayed Trey Mancini’s commitment to the Orioles, writes Meoli in a separate column. The Orioles’ 2019 leader in home runs (35), Mancini says that his desire to remain in Baltimore has “never wavered at all.” The 27-year-old slugger, who’ll turn 28 next March, likes the direction the team is headed under Elias & Co. and has firmly bought into the Orioles’ rebuilding efforts. Mancini’s own improvement at the plate has been one of the biggest positives with regard to the club’s future outlook. His 2018 season yielded an ugly .242/.299/.416 batting line, but Mancini erupted with a .291/.364/.535 batting line to go along with those 35 homers in 2019. He also improved his walk rate by 2.4 percent and cut his strikeout rate by three percent. He’ll be in for quite the pay increase this winter in his first offseason of arbitration eligibility and is under club control through the 2022 season. However, Mancini has been vocal about hoping to remain in Baltimore, so perhaps the two sides will discuss the possibility of a longer-term arrangement next spring.
- Outfielder Austin Hays had been slated to play in the Arizona Fall League, but the Orioles have “changed their plans” for the resurgent top prospect, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza tweets. Hays won’t play in the AFL after all, but the 24-year-old certainly looks to have rebuilt his stock with a bounceback year. Injury limited Hays to just 75 unproductive games in 2018, but he suited up for 108 games across four minor league levels and the Majors in 2019. Hays reemerged at the MLB level in September, hitting .309/.373/.574 with four home runs in 75 plate appearances down the stretch. He’ll head into Spring Training as one of the favorites (if not the favorite) to open the 2020 season in center field.