The Orioles learned today that they’re losing a key member of their front office.
Ned Rice, the club’s director of major league administration, has accepted a position in the Phillies’ front office, according to multiple sources. He will be reunited with Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, and Matt Klentak, named general manager in late October.
The Phillies also employ former Orioles executives Scott Proefrock and Joe Jordan.
I’ve heard that Rice is taking a position as an assistant to MacPhail, though neither team has announced the hire.
Update: I’m told that Rice’s title will be assistant general manager.
Rice spent 11 seasons with the Orioles, the last three as director of major league administration. His responsibilities included assisting executive vice president Dan Duquette with roster management, player contracts, salary arbitration and rules compliance.
Mostly a behind-the-scenes guy, Rice’s departure is viewed within the warehouse as a significant loss.
Rice, 32, began his Orioles tenure in 2005 as a public relations intern before moving into the baseball operations department the following year and serving as video coordinator for road games, among other duties.
In 2007, the Orioles promoted Rice to the position of player information analyst. He assumed the role of assistant director of major league operations in 2012.
Rice, a graduate of the College of William & Mary, was instrumental in the Orioles finding a loophole that allowed them to bring back outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce in April 2014 after designating him for assignment. The Blue Jays claimed Pearce, but he refused and eventually re-signed with the Orioles, who utilized a rule permitting them to bypass a 30-day waiting period.
No word yet on how the Orioles will fill Rice’s position. One person said there are qualified candidates within the organiziation, though the club could look outside of it for a replacement. There’s no rush to name a successor.
Note: Manager Buck Showalter and his family are fine after deadly tornadoes ripped through the Dallas area over the weekend.
Showalter, wife Angela, son Nathan and their three basset hounds stayed in a shelter closet for nearly two hours on Saturday as one of the tornadoes touched down about two miles from their home. Showalter wrote in a text message yesterday that they also had two candles and “a lifetime of granola.”
Temperatures dropped from 78 degrees to below freezing and brought snow within 12 hours.
The Showalters have homes in Dallas and Baltimore.