The Baltimore Orioles will reportedly hire Houston Astros Assistant GM Mike Elias for the GM job in Baltimore
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported late on Tuesday night that the Baltimore Orioles would hire Mike Elias as their new General Manager. Elias, currently the assistant GM for the Astros, has been rumored to be in consideration for the job since the start of the interview process, and if this report turns out to be true, it would seemingly be a very smart hire by the Orioles.
Elias has been with the Astros since 2012, first in a special assistant role, and for the past three seasons as the assistant GM and right-hand man to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow. Elias has been a part of the rebuild down in Houston, which is likely a big appeal to a struggling Orioles franchise; to put someone in charge who has been part of a successful organizational overhaul.
Having been part of a successful organization, Elias would know what it’s going to take to get the Orioles back to relevancy. The Orioles will need to establish their presence and willingness to spend in the international market, increase funding to build a better research and development department, and do a better job with player development and both amateur and professional scouting.
Elias was part of the team in Houston that drafted Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker. Correa and Bregman are superstars at the major league level, Tucker is the 5th ranked prospect in baseball and the 3rd ranked outfielder, and Whitley is 8th in MLB and the top ranked pitcher. It’s safe to say the Astros have a strong grasp on talent identification, something the Orioles are severely lacking.
If the report is true that Elias will become the O’s next GM, it conflicts with the initial ideal that the Orioles would first hire a President of Baseball Ops and have that person influence who the O’s would put in the GM and manager positions. While Elias’ resume is impressive, a jump from assistant GM in Houston to a top-executive position in Baltimore seems unlikely.
But it’s possible that the Orioles are content with having Elias run the organization from the GM position. Who he, and the Orioles, put around him is to be determined, but Mark Feinsand tweeted last last night that Astros’ special assistant Sig Mejdal could joining Elias in Baltimore.
Mejdal is a former NASA engineer who helped the Astros spearhead their analytics department. He would be a huge get for the Orioles who are well known to be significantly behind in terms of their analytics, research, and development.
There are probably worse strategies than poaching the Astros front office, but it looks like that may be the case right now.
If the Orioles are genuine in their expressed want to give complete autonomy to the new man in charge, then this has the potential to be a great hire by the Angelos family.
The Orioles have a long way to go, but putting someone in charge who has been part of a successful rebuild is a big step in the right direction.