The search for a new manager is a top priority for new Orioles general manager Mike Elias. A top priority, but far from the only one.
Building that elite talent pipeline has to be pretty high on the list. Elias was a big part of doing that in St. Louis and Houston, and if he can do it here it will produce a strong talent base to form the next winner in Baltimore.
In fact, that might truly be job one for him. However we characterize it, his vision for the building of the Orioles’ player development and scouting operation is obviously critical. The talent pipeline starts there.
This came up during a discussion of the Orioles Friday on MLB Network. Former Orioles front office staffer and former Colorado general manager Dan O’Dowd made that point.
“For me, the major league manager is not even close to being the most important hire to begin with,” O’Dowd said. “They’ve got the No. 1 pick in the draft next year. They let their scouting director go and they let their director of player development go.
“To me, his future success depends on how they scout and develop players. He’s got to hire a major league manager, but all my time and energy is going into that area - creating the foundation of the organization for years to come. Things we won’t ever see until they begin to matriculate to the major league level. So the major league manager is certainly an important role. In this case that is probably third on the list.”
It’s a point well taken. Getting the right manager is pretty important, but creating the infrastructure for player development and the minors is rather critical as well. Elias has said a couple of times that he sees plenty of young talent already here. It will be interesting to see how he uses that and how he puts his own imprint on player development and scouting.
Elias speaks: During a podcast on ESPN with reporter Buster Olney, Elias talked about a few topics and that included two men - one he has worked with closely in the past and one that he may be working closely with in the future.
Elias was asked about his time working with and alongside current Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow.
“I’ve had the unique, but very fortunate experience to have worked with Jeff Luhnow my entire professional career,” he said. “This is the first time since being in college, basically, that I have not worked under Jeff. We’ve had a lot of success and I’ve seen a lot of success in the way he thinks about things and the way he manages things.
“The track record speaks for itself, but also the type of people that he likes to hire and attract and the way he lets his employees work and lets them grow. That is something I’m hoping to emulate myself. He’s as good as there is right now.”
Olney asked Elias about Brady Anderson. What is his role moving forward?
“I’ve talked to him a few times already. We’ve been working together on some stuff as we’re getting acclimated. He’s very smart and very capable, and most of all he’s got a very deep love for this franchise. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“This is kind of a rapid transition period for me. I think we will answer those questions very well over time. See how we can work together and build an appropriate relationship. But he’s a sharp guy and a good asset,” Elias said.
You can find the ESPN podcast in the tweet below and also see Caleb Joseph’s classy comments to Orioles fans.
Mike Elias recently spoke with @Buster_ESPN on the Baseball Tonight podcast. Listen: https://t.co/ONCZTP6Rto pic.twitter.com/o04IYfSHSA-- Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) December 1, 2018