LAS VEGAS - The first official day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings finally has arrived, though the lobby of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino began to fill up yesterday.
The chatter surrounding the Orioles, and there hasn’t been much of it, centers on the unique circumstances of team representatives arriving without a manager in tow. The expectation is that they will leave in the same manner, but could draw closer to making a decision.
No manager for the media sessions or Wednesday’s luncheon. No manager sitting inside the suite of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.
The list of candidates already has been whittled down following the research on more than two dozen individuals. Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond became the latest confirmed interview, as first reported by The Athletic.
Redmond and Chip Hale are the only candidates with previous managing experience in the majors.
Elias indicated that the manager will wield the strongest influence in the naming of a coaching staff. However, the Orioles seem intent on reassigning John Wasdin to the position of bullpen coach, according to multiple industry sources.
Wasdin was hired as minor league pitching coordinator prior to the 2017 season. He replaced Rick Peterson, who served as director of pitching development since 2012 before the Orioles cut ties with him.
The Orioles have hired Chris Holt to serve as minor league pitching coordinator, according to a source. No announcement has been made. Meanwhile, I was told that Wasdin would remain in the organization with a different title and set of responsibilities.
Alan Mills was the Orioles’ bullpen coach for the past two seasons. He’s been given a minor league contract.
Holt worked as an associate scout with the Orioles from December 2011 to November 2013 before joining the Astros, who employed him as assistant pitching coordinator this summer after he spent four years as a pitching coach in their system.
In 12 major league seasons, Wasdin compiled a 39-39 record and 5.28 ERA while pitching for seven teams. The Virginia native made 26 relief appearances with the Orioles in 2001, going 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA in 49 2/3 innings.
The Orioles signed Wasdin as a free agent on June 11, 2001 and traded him to the Phillies on Dec. 13 for pitcher Chris Brock.
The Athletics drafted Wasdin in the first round in 1993 out of Florida State University and brought him to the majors two years later. He also pitched for the Red Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays, Rangers and Pirates. His last appearance in the majors came on July 7, 2007.
Wasdin finished his professional career with the Seibu Lions in the Japan Pacific League in 2009.
Reviewing former Orioles who have found jobs elsewhere, Gary Rajsich and Kirk Fredricksson joined the Braves, Danny Haas is with the Diamondbacks, brother Matt Haas is with the Padres, Sarah Gelles joined the Astros, Dana Duquette joined the Marlins and Kelvin Colon was hired by the Dodgers.
I’ve also heard that former Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan joined the Braves, who are beefing up their scouting department. He was the Phillies’ director of player development since 2012 until resigning in September.
* If Harold Baines is a Hall of Famer, Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff need to be inducted. And fast.