Baltimore Orioles – MLB Trade Rumors Tue, 11 Dec 2018 07:34:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Orioles’ Managerial Search Tue, 11 Dec 2018 01:32:30 +0000 Two weeks after tabbing Mike Elias as their new GM, the Orioles are finally making reported progress on hiring a manager. Baltimore parted with previous skipper Buck Showalter nearly two months ago, but the slow-moving GM search that eventually led the team to Elias has left it as the majors’ last club without a manager. Appointing Showalter’s successor will be one of the first noteworthy decisions Elias makes atop the Orioles’ front office, but given that the O’s are in the early stages of a full rebuild, win-loss record certainly won’t be the main focus when judging their manager in 2019.

Here’s a look at where the Orioles’ search stands thus far:

Latest Updates (Dec.10)

  • Speaking with’s Roch Kubatko (Twitter links) and other reporters today, Elias said that he won’t be meeting with any more candidates beyond the six initial names, and there may not be a second round of interviews.  Elias said he hopes to have the new manager in place before the end of the month.
  • Former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta is another candidate for the Orioles’ job, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman (via Twitter).  Acta oversaw rebuilding efforts in his previous two managerial jobs, leading to an unimpressive 372-518 record but doing little to harm Acta’s reputation as an analytically-open manager who works well with young players.  Acta has worked as the Mariners’ third base coach for the last three seasons.
  • Astros bench coach Joe Espada won’t be interviewing for the Orioles’ job,’s Roch Kubatko reports.  Espada was a popular candidate for managerial openings this offseason, and his past connection with Elias in Houston made him an interesting fit for the O’s on paper.

Previous Updates

  • Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond has interviewed for the job, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  Redmond posted a 155-207 record as the Marlins’ skipper from 2013 to May 2015, shepherding the team through one of its many rebuilding periods and then getting fired after a slow start in 2015, as then-owner Jeffrey Loria had playoff aspirations after adding talent that winter.  Redmond has been Colorado’s bench coach for the last two seasons, and he was also mentioned as a candidate for managerial openings with the Tigers and Phillies last offseason.
  • The Orioles will interview at least six candidates in person, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals catching/quality control coach Pedro Grifol, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. The 54-year-old Hale has previous managerial experience, which the O’s are thought to prefer, according to Rosenthal, though he suggests it isn’t a dealbreaker. A former major league infielder, Hale managed the Diamondbacks to a combined 148-176 mark from 2015-16. Hale has since served on the staffs of the A’s and Nats, and he drew managerial interest from the Phillies and Mets a year ago.
  • Hyde, 45, was on the radars of the Blue Jays, Twins and Angels when they were seeking managers earlier in the fall. He comes with plenty of coaching experience, having worked as a minor league manager with the Marlins from 2005-09 before functioning as their bench coach from 2010-12. Hyde has been on the Cubs’ coaching staff since 2013.
  • The 49-year-old Grifol has been in his present position since 2014. The former minor league catcher brings experience as a major league hitting coach (Royals, 2013-14) and a minors manager (with low-level Mariners affiliates from 2003-05 and in 2012).
  • Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell will interview, Peter Gammons reports. He’s the son of former major league manager Buddy Bell and brother of rookie Reds skipper David Bell. Mike Bell, 43, garnered interest from the Rangers during their managerial search after the season. He’s a former professional third baseman who, prior to landing his current gig, coached and managed in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system.
Cardinals Claim Ryan Meisinger Mon, 10 Dec 2018 19:05:21 +0000 The Cardinals have claimed righty reliever Ryan Meisinger off waivers from the Orioles, the Baltimore club announced.

Meisinger, 24, cracked the bigs last year for the first time and surrendered six long balls in 21 innings. Still, he has turned in some intriguing numbers at times in the minors. Last year, for instance, he worked to a 3.13 ERA in 46 innings in the upper minors, with 10.8 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.

Orioles Claim Rio Ruiz Mon, 10 Dec 2018 19:02:24 +0000 The Orioles announced today that they have claimed third baseman Rio Ruiz off waivers from the Braves. Ruiz becomes the first 40-man roster addition of new O’s GM Mike Elias.

Ruiz, 24, signed for well over the slot value after the Astros selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft — their first under Elias’s direction. After a few seasons with the Houston organization, Ruiz was sent on to Atlanta along with Mike Foltynewicz in the deal that delivered Evan Gattis to the ’Stros.

Over the years, Ruiz has at times shown hints of his long-valued talent, but hasn’t generally produced consistently at the plate and did not take advantage of a brief shot at the majors in 2017. He spent the bulk of the 2018 campaign at Triple-A, where he slashed .269/.322/.390 with nine home runs in 541 plate appearances.

Brady Anderson Appears Likely To Stay In O's Front Office Sun, 02 Dec 2018 14:00:27 +0000
  • It appears Brady Anderson, a prominent member of the Orioles’ previous front office, will stay in the fold under rookie general manager Mike Elias, according to Dan Connolly of The Athletic (subscription required). Not only that, but it seems Anderson – currently Baltimore’s vice president of baseball operations – will continue to serve in a major role, Connolly relays. Elias spoke highly of Anderson in an interview with Buster Olney of ESPN this week, saying (via Connolly): “He’s very smart, he’s very capable, and, most of all, he has a very deep love for this franchise. So, I’m looking forward to working with him.”
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    Orioles Non-Tender Tim Beckham, Caleb Joseph Sat, 01 Dec 2018 01:14:01 +0000 The Orioles announced that shortstop Tim Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph have been non-tendered. Both are heading onto the open market; the former had projected to earn a $4.3MM salary, the latter $1.7MM.

    Beckham seemed to have turned a corner when he landed with the O’s last year, but he fell back to earn in 2018. Over 402 plate appearances, he slashed just .230/.287/.374 and did not grade well at short. As for Joseph, he has bounced up and down with the bat in recent years but turned in a miserable .219/.254/.321 season last year.

    Latest On Orioles’ Front Office Overhaul, Managerial Search Fri, 30 Nov 2018 15:09:49 +0000 The Orioles have fired farm director Brian Graham, who served as the interim general manager between the dismissal of Dan Duquette and the hiring of Mike Elias, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (on Twitter). The move comes not long after the decision not to retain scouting director Gary Rajsich for the 2019 season, as reported by Roch Kubatko of

    The pair of personnel changes marks the latest in a series of moves designed to bring about an organizational overhaul in Baltimore. Graham has been the team’s director of player development since the 2013 season and been with the team since 2007, while Rajsich was hired by Duquette as the team’s director of scouting back in 2011.

    With Graham and Rajsich both out the door, two of the three top-ranking executives mentioned in the Orioles’ press release announcing a “transition in baseball operations leadership” are now out of the organization; of that trio, only vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson remains. The departures of Graham and Rajsich give the Orioles another pair of significant vacancies to fill — all while the team continues its search for a replacement for the also-dismissed Buck Showalter.

    Adding a manager is the organization’s top priority at present, Elias said last night in an interview on 105.7 FM The Fan in Baltimore (links via Kubatko and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun). Elias declined to delve into specifics, as one would expect. However, the newly hired Baltimore GM did acknowledge that he, with assistance from new assistant GM Sig Mejdal and others in the front office, has pared the list of initial candidates down “quite a bit.” Elias added that he feels the Orioles are “well past phase one of this search.”

    Once a manager is in place, that hire will work alongside Elias and the front office to fill in what will in all likelihood be a significantly revamped coaching staff for the 2019 season. Paired with the need to hire a new farm director and scouting director (and the subsequent new hires that’ll be made to work underneath that pair), Elias, Mejdal and the remnants of the prior regime face a fairly daunting amount of administrative work in the coming weeks. That, of course, is in addition to the obvious roster machinations that need to be made for a team that lost a franchise-record number of games in 2018.

    Chief among those decisions is likely determining who will be selected with the top pick in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. By virtue of finishing the 2018 season with the worst record in baseball, Baltimore has the top pick, and Elias confirmed in last night’s interview that the O’s will indeed be making a selection.

    Orioles Sign Josh Lucas To Minor League Deal Thu, 29 Nov 2018 02:19:20 +0000 The Orioles announced Wednesday that they’ve signed right-hander Josh Lucas to a minor league contract. The 28-year-old spent the 2018 season with the Athletics organization.

    Lucas tossed 14 1/3 innings for the A’s but allowed 10 runs on 16 hits and nine walks with 14 strikeouts in that time. It was his second straight season with some degree of MLB experience, as he threw 7 1/3 frames for the 2017 Cardinals as well. In all, Lucas has a 5.40 ERA in 21 2/3 big league innings.

    While he’s yet to find success at the MLB level, Lucas has posted continually strong numbers in the upper minors. The former 21st-round pick has a career 2.93 ERA and a 66-to-14 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings of Double-A ball and a 3.39 ERA with 8.9 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 in 106 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. The right-hander has also routinely posted strong ground-ball rates both in the upper minors and in his limited time in the Majors.

    Coaching/Front Office Notes: Dodgers, Orioles, Rays Mon, 26 Nov 2018 03:04:11 +0000 The latest on some coaching and front office personnel decisions from around the game…

    • The Dodgers are expected to hire Dino Ebel as their new third base coach, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.  Ebel would fill the role left behind by newly-hired Rangers manager Chris Woodward, who was also the Dodgers’ infield coach in addition to his duties in the third base box.  No stranger to Los Angeles baseball, Ebel has spent the last 13 years on the Angels’ staff as a third base coach and bench coach, plus he also has an extensive background in the Dodgers organization.  Ebel spent his entire six-year playing career in the Dodgers’ farm system, before going on to spend over a decade as a coach and manager at various levels of the minor league ladder.
    • Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich’s contract with the team expires at the end of November, and Roch Kubatko of reports that there has yet to be any word on whether or not Rajsich will continue with the organization (either in his current role or a reassigned position).  Rajsich has been with the O’s since 2011, though it isn’t clear if his tenure will continue, given how the team has been overhauling its front office and new general manager Mike Elias may prefer to have his own hire in place.
    • Rays minor league catching coordinator Paul Hoover looks like the favorite to become the team’s new field coordinator, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes.  The job opened up when Rocco Baldelli was hired by the Twins to become their new manager.  A former big leaguer with the Rays, Marlins, and Phillies, Hoover appeared in parts of seven MLB seasons from 2001-10, and he has been working in Tampa’s minor league system since 2012.
    Latest On Adam Jones Mon, 26 Nov 2018 01:29:21 +0000 Adam Jones hopes to keep playing “at least four or five more years,” the veteran outfielder told reporters (including’s Roch Kubatko) this weekend at his #StayHungry Purple Tailgate charity event in Baltimore.  Jones turned 33 last August and is coming off a season that saw him hit .281/.313/.419 with 15 homers over 613 plate appearances for the Orioles, making for his lowest home run and slugging average totals since 2008, and below-average run production overall (98 wRC+).  Between his age and the offensive dropoff, Jones may face a difficult market as he test free agency for the first time in his 13-year career, though he is realistic about his prospects.  “It’s like [being] the senior that some people want that not everybody wants, as opposed to the sophomore that everybody wants.  I take it back when I was in high school and getting flirted with a little bit,” Jones said.  “But at the same time, I’ve got no stress. The Orioles have been good to me financially over my career. I just know that I have a lot to offer someone else and I have a lot of gas in the tank.

    A reunion with the Orioles doesn’t appear to be in the cards for now, as Jones said that he hadn’t heard from the team since the season ended.  This isn’t necessarily unusual, as Baltimore only just installed Mike Elias as its new general manager in mid-November, and Elias could have interest in re-signing a team legend to act as an on-field mentor through the Orioles’ rebuilding phase.  Still, Jones’ tribute-filled final game of 2018 campaign (and his own comments following the team) certainly seemed to hint that the two sides would be parting ways.

    Orioles Hire Sig Mejdal As Assistant General Manager Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:10:32 +0000 The Orioles announced that they’ve hired former Astros executive Sig Mejdal as an assistant general manager with a focus on analytics. Mejdal becomes the first front office hire under new GM Mike Elias. The pair is well acquainted already, having worked together in the Houston front office.

    “Sig Mejdal is one of the most experienced and accomplished analysts working in baseball today,” said Elias in a press release announcing the hire. “To have him join our Orioles organization is a major moment for this franchise, and I look forward to him charting the course for all of our forthcoming efforts in the analytics space.”

    Mejdal’s baseball career began in 2005, when the Cardinals hired him as a quantitative analyst — a pronounced change from his previous work as an engineer and biomathematician for the likes of Lockheed Martin and NASA. In a front office career that has now spanned more than a decade, Mejdal has focused on the draft, Major League roster decisions and organizational process improvement. He’s also worked with minor league players and coaches in an effort to help them utilize new technology and data at the field level.

    An expanded analytics department will be a key focus for Elias, Mejdal and the rest of the Orioles’ front office, though that’s just one of numerous areas the organization will be looking to improve in the coming years. Perhaps most notably, the Orioles have also fallen behind the curve in terms of international scouting and have been outspoken about the desire to add resources and facilities in that regard with an eye toward rebuilding what had become a barren farm system.’s Mark Feinsand tied Mejdal to the Orioles organization at the time of Elias’ hiring, tweeting that Mejdal would “likely” join his former colleague in the revamped Baltimore front office.

    Orioles Sign Jace Peterson, Three Others Wed, 21 Nov 2018 19:23:57 +0000 1:15pm: Baltimore has announced the signing of Peterson as well as those of three other players. Infielders Christopher Bostick and Zach Vincej will join the utility competition, with righty Jeffeson Medina also coming to the organization on a minors pact.

    Bostick and Vincej have each briefly cracked the majors in each of the past two seasons and could certainly challenge Peterson and others for a job (or a spot on the depth chart). Medina, meanwhile, has yet to play past the High-A level but has turned in an intriguing showing thus far (one earned run in 14 innings) in the Venezuelan Winter League.

    9:17am: The Orioles have reached a deal to bring back infielder Jace Peterson, according to Roch Kubatko of (via Twitter). It’s a minor-league deal, the other terms of which are not known. He had elected free agency after being outrighted by the O’s at the end of the 2018 campaign.

    Peterson, 28, has historically lined up mostly at second base. But he has expanded his repertoire in recent seasons, logging significant innings in the corner outfield and at third base while briefly stepping in at both shortstop and first.

    Unfortunately, the results at the plate haven’t really changed. Peterson ended his 2018 campaign with 246 plate appearances of 78 OPS+ hitting, an exact match for the rate of production — 22% below the league mean — he has maintained through 1,524 trips to the dish over his five-year career.

    The O’s surely don’t yet have a clear idea of how their reserve unit will shape up, and the picture will no doubt change as opportunities arise over the offseason. That said, Peterson figures to have a strong chance at earning a job in camp.

    Players Added To The 40-Man Roster Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:15:47 +0000 Tonight marks the deadline for players to be added to their respective organizations’ 40-man rosters. Over the nine hours, there’ll be a flurry of moves, ranging from minor trades (like the one the Indians and Rays made yesterday), waiver claims and players being designated for assignment or outrighted. Each will be made to clear room for players who need protection from this year’s Rule 5 Draft. As a reminder, players who signed at 18 years of age or younger and have five professional seasons are eligible, as are players who signed at 19 or older and have four professional seasons under their belts.

    Here’s a rundown of players who’ve been added to their respective 40-man rosters (which will be updated throughout the day)…

    Read more

    Orioles Designate Engelb Vielma Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:08:34 +0000 The Orioles have designated infielder Engelb Vielma for assignment today, per a club announcement. His spot was needed for the team to settle its 40-man roster in advance of today’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft.

    Vielma missed much of the 2018 season with an unfortunate knee injury, preventing him from a potential MLB showcase in Baltimore. On the positive side, he did record his first major-league hit in a brief stint with the O’s. He had landed with the O’s last winter after bouncing around the waiver wire.

    While the 24-year-old Vielma doesn’t have much of a track record in the minors with the bat, he’s known as an excellent and versatile defender. So long as he’s back to full health, he should generate plenty of interest from teams that value infield utility depth.

    Rosenthal: Orioles May Opt For Experienced Manager Sun, 18 Nov 2018 16:18:41 +0000
  • After a drawn-out search, the Orioles finally named a general manager, Mike Elias, whom they hired Friday. Elias is now seeking a manager for the Orioles, and it’s “more likely” he’ll hire an experienced skipper than a neophyte, Rosenthal relays. However, Elias isn’t necessarily aiming to make a high-profile hire, per Rosenthal, who writes that the O’s next manager could be a “caretaker.”
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    Elias Facing 40-Man Roster Decisions Sat, 17 Nov 2018 18:28:56 +0000
  • This Tuesday, November 20th is the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft in December. That doesn’t give new Orioles GM Mike Elias a ton of time to acclimate himself to the Orioles’ farm system. While other teams are finalizing the decisions they’ve had months to ponder, Elias will have to hit the ground running with deadline decisions to clean up his 40-man roster. It’s likely the Orioles will make at least one selection in December’s upcoming draft – which requires opening up a spot on the currently-full 40-man roster. Roch Kubatko of takes a look at some of the players that could be on the chopping block. Veteran backstop Caleb Joseph is one DFA candidate, as is injury-prone catcher Andrew Susac. It should be noted, Elias has until November 30th to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, giving Elias some extra time to decide on a player like shortstop Tim Beckham. The urgency before Tuesday is in protecting anyone likely to be poached by another organization, such as right-hander Dillon Tate, catcher Martin Cervenka or left-handed pitcher Luis Gonzalez. Tate is the likeliest of the bunch to be protected, as the Orioles probably won’t want to risk losing the 24-year-old just a few months after acquiring him from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade.
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