Orioles fire Brian Graham ahead of Friday’s non-tender deadline
The Baltimore Orioles have fired Director of Player Development Brian Graham
Brian Graham, who served as the Baltimore Orioles Director of Player Development for the past six years, was fired on Friday morning as new Executive VP and General Manager Mike Elias continues to clean house in Baltimore.
Graham was hired by the Orioles in 2007 to serve in a special assignment role for the O’s minor league clubs. He worked his way through the system and in 2013, was named Director of Player Development.
After the Orioles announced in September that the contracts of then-Executive VP Dan Duquette and Manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t be renewed after the 2018 season, Graham served as the interim GM in Baltimore for almost two months in the transition period between Duquette and Elias.
Graham helped the Orioles make several minor moves early in the offseason, including signing LHP Sean Gilmartin and INF Corban Joseph to minor league contracts early in November.
Graham represented the Orioles at the annual GM meetings in California two weeks ago but he won’t be around for the annual Winter Meetings, or to see how the Orioles handle the remainder of the 2018-2019 offseason.
Graham isn’t the only major firing in the Orioles front office this week; Scouting Director Gary Rajsich was another front office casualty early on in the Elias administration as his contract wasn’t renewed. Rajsich’s contract expired today.
Rajsich had served as the Orioles’ Scouting Director since 2011 and was an integral part of the Orioles draft process. Over the past seven years, Orioles first round picks include pitchers Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey, DL Hall, and 2018 pick Grayson Rodriguez.
The Orioles selected several major league players under Rajsich’s tenure but they’ve yet to develop a star out of the group; the closest they’ve come is OF Trey Mancini. Whether Rajsich did a good job identifying talent and the Orioles, under Graham, haven’t done well enough developing that talent is up for debate.
But the Orioles, under Mike Elias, are moving on from both. We could’ve guessed that Elias would want to bring in his own staff to spearhead the Orioles rebuild. Graham was quoted confirming just that.
There’s a lot of blame to go around after the Orioles suffered through a franchise worst 47-115 record in 2018, not least of which lies with the old front office. Duquette was relieved of his duties earlier in the offseason, while Rajsich and Graham lasted another couple months before being let go.
As the Orioles continue their search for new front office executives and a field manager, one big question regarding the old administration remains: what happens with Brady Anderson?