With the news on Friday that Mike Elias had been hired by the Orioles as executive vice president and general manager, anticipation spun into reality, the next set of questions can be tackled at Monday morning’s introduction inside the auxiliary clubhouse at Camden Yards.
Among the points that Elias can address:
* Is it true that former Astros sabermetrics analyst Sig Mejdal will join the organization as Elias’ top assistant?
* What are the statuses of vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, director of player development Brian Graham and director of scouting Gary Rajsich?
* Is Astros bench coach Joe Espada a managerial candidate?
* Is anyone else currently on the list of managerial candidates?
* Would Elias consider bringing back anyone from the 2017 coaching staff, or is it entirely up to the manager?
* How much does Elias know about the personnel on the 40-man roster and the organization as a whole?
* Would he consider trading one of the veteran starting pitchers?
* Did Chris Davis’ contract come up during the interviews?
* What are the most important tasks for Elias as he embarks on the rebuild?
* Does he have a time frame in mind for the Orioles to become contenders again?
* How does he envision incorporating analytics into the rebuild?
* Will one person oversee the entire scouting operation - amateur, professional and international?
* Has Elias ever met a Rule 5 draft that he didn’t like?
* Is he putting the band back together?
* How does he feel about crab cakes?
* Did Elias grow up in Northern Virginia dreaming of the day that he’d run the Orioles, or was he a closet Yankees fan?
* Is he related to the Elias Sports Bureau?
Did I miss anything?
I’ve heard that one person who interviewed for the top executive position wanted to bring back more former Orioles as spring training instructors.
Two examples were Rick Dempsey, who used to work with the catchers in Fort Lauderdale, and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.
Palmer shows up at camp every spring and always is willing to tutor the kids and the veterans. However, I haven’t seen him on the field as an actual instructor.
I know that former Orioles center fielder Al Bumbry would be happy to offer instruction if asked to do it. Playing the outfield, stealing bases.
He’s already bonded with Cedric Mullins after they met at Aberdeen, and he’d be a valuable resource for the kid.
The trick is to make sure that no one steps on any toes. There needs to be universal approval from the coaching staff. Get everyone on the same page, which should be a motto for the Orioles in 2019.
At least one person who interviewed with the Angelos brothers preached the importance of using funds that otherwise might have been directed toward signing free agents to increase staffing in the scouting departments. To rebuild the foundation. And to most definitely upgrade the scouting in Latin America.
Stripped of their contender status following a 115-loss season and total teardown, the Orioles need to work the other side of the street again. They finally dealt Jake Arrieta in 2013 because they thought that veteran Scott Feldman could bring immediate results and push the club into the postseason. The task now is to find the next Arrieta, another team’s underachiever who might blossom in Baltimore.