BALTIMORE (AP) – New Orioles general manager Mike Elias spoke excitedly Monday about rebuilding the worst team in the majors by drafting wisely, stocking the farm system and delving deep into the International market.
After finishing 47-115 this year, the Orioles essentially will start from scratch under the 35-year-old Elias and a yet-to-be named replacement for manager Buck Showalter, who was fired after 8½ seasons.
Sitting between John Angelos and Lou Angelos – Baltimore’s top officials and sons of owner Peter Angeles – Elias warned at his introductory news conference there are no shortcuts to the reboot. But the former Houston Astros assistant GM added, “We’re going to do this as quickly as we can.”
Elias wore a gray suit and an orange tie. His fashion choice was entirely appropriate because orange is the prominent color of both the Orioles and Astros, and his success in Houston is why he got the job.
“There is exciting potential here,” Lou Angelos said. “Mike’s deep background in scouting really made quite a difference in the discussions that we had. His success with the Astros, hearing about it in detail, he’s been through this.”
The Orioles shifted into rebuild mode in July under former Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations who traded away many of the team’s stars – most notably Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman – for 15 prospects and International bonus pool money in moves that cut payroll from $151 million to $136 million.