The sweeping changes within the Orioles organization have impacted director of scouting Gary Rajsich.
Rajsich won’t return to the Orioles next season, according to multiple sources. The decision was made before his contract expired on Friday.
New executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias is in charge of making hires within each department, and scouting is undergoing a major overhaul.
Former executive vice president Dan Duquette hired Rajsich in November 2011 as one of his first significant moves as the head of baseball operations. They worked together in Boston before Rajsich became the Blue Jays’ professional crosschecker in 2009.
Rajsich came to the Orioles as Joe Jordan’s replacement. His first-round picks included pitchers Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey, Cody Sedlock, DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez and outfielder DJ Stewart. He took infielder Ryan Mountcastle with the 36th overall pick in ‘15 and promising shortstop Adam Hall in the second round in 2017.
The Orioles forfeited their first two picks in 2014 after signing pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez and outfielder Nelson Cruz as free agents, and Rajsich chose pitcher Brian Gonzalez in the third round.
Rajsich found Trey Mancini still available in the eighth round in 2013, Cedric Mullins in the 13th round in 2015 and Austin Hays in the third round in 2016. Ryan McKenna, a fourth-rounder in 2015, is climbing up the prospect charts. Left-handers Keegan Akin (second round in 2016) and Zac Lowther (competitive balance pick in 2017) were chosen as the system’s Co-Pitchers of the Year this summer.
There were industry rumblings earlier in the month, before Elias’ hiring, that that Orioles could reassign Rajsich. He was hoping to remain in the organization in any capacity and assist in the rebuild.
Rajsich hadn’t been told of the Orioles’ plans for him as a new week unfolded.
Brad Ciolek, the assistant director, is running the department on an interim basis.
The scouting department also will be minus special assistants Matt Haas and Danny Haas, the latter taking a job with the Diamondbacks. Director of professional scouting and special projects Patrick Di Gregory, major league scout John Stockstill, professional scout Ron Schueler, East Coast scouting supervisor Kirk Fredriksson, special assignment scout Wayne Britton, area scouts Kelvin Colon and Dana Duquette, and international scout Joel Bradely also are gone since the season ended.
Duquette has joined the Marlins organization and Colon accepted a job with the Dodgers.
Meanwhile, the Orioles have hired Chris Holt to oversee minor league pitching, according to a source. He’s another individual with strong ties to Elias, serving as the Astros’ assistant pitching coordinator this summer after spending four years as a pitching coach in their system.
Holt worked as an associate scout with the Orioles from December 2011 to November 2013 before joining the Astros.
John Wasdin will remain in the organization after serving as minor league pitching coordinator. His title and role will change, however.
The Athletic first reported Holt’s hiring.