2011 Orioles Off-Season: Changes Made in the Front Office
The Orioles biggest move of this off-season will be the hiring of new general manager Dan Duquette due to the resignation of Andy MacPhail.
With that said, there are quite a few changes coaching wise that Duquette must make before the start of the 2012 season. While he’s nowhere close to being finished, there have been two moves made already to start this long process.
Director of professional scouting Lee MacPhail (the IV, and Andy’s nephew) has been reassigned to a Major League scouting position. In his former role, MacPhail was in charge of overseeing professional scouting, advance scouting, and major league video coaching. Interestingly enough, Duquette announced the Orioles would most likely not replace him with someone else with that title.
This announcement came on the heels of the announcement that Gary Rajsich will be the director of amateur scouting. He’s been around the block in the AL East spending time with both the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. He played an instrumental role in drafting and signing Jon Lester as well as in the trade with the Seattle Mariners of RHP Heathcliff Slocumb for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. He worked under Dan Duquette at that time. By the way, his name is pronounced “Ray-sitch.”
And apparently this guy is good. Bigwigs in baseball are coming out saying things like “I didn’t know he was available! If so, I would have tried to hire him for my organization.” Granted, that’s not verbatim, but you get the hint.
Hiring Rajsich was Duquette’s first hire of his career as the GM and rightfully so. Amateur scouting is far and away the biggest issue for this franchise and it has been for several years. Getting a solid veteran scout is crucial if the Orioles want to win in the next 5 or 10 years. I like this hire and I’m excited to see what he does in the next few years drafting and trading (in the minors) wise.