As someone looking in from the outside, the Orioles rebuild is going to be fascinating to watch. As a fan of both the Cubs and the Braves, I have long term, intimate knowledge of how painful and uncomfortable full team transformations can be, so I will be watching with keen interest to see how this organization fares.
The first order of business was to clean house, and with the parting of ways between the Orioles, Dan Duquette, and Buck Showalter, I think they were on the right track. While the search for executive vice president of baseball operations took forever, I like the fact that the Angelos family actually took their time to get the right person and didn’t just plug into some old established dude like, say, Ned Colletti. To really turn the corner – to go from last century to something more cutting edge – they needed someone young, fresh, and eager to do something new. Mike Elias was, in my opinion, a nearly perfect choice. Knowing that he will also lead as general manager and will bring in some of the brightest minds in New Baseball should help transform the Baltimore Orioles from one of the jokes of the league to a team that Birdland can be proud of.
But… who is Mike Elias?
Mike Elias attended Yale University and played collegiate baseball there before transitioning to working behind the scenes after injuries curtailed his career. Elias began with the St. Louis Cardinals, working closely with Jeff Luhnow. When Luhnow moved to Houston in 2011, Elias followed, and has made his name as one of the architects of their rebuild, starting with a key role in scouting. He was one of the people who brought in such franchise changing players as Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. In 2016, Elias was promoted to assistant general manager, and along with Luhnow, was a guiding force in maintaining the path of excellent that Houston was on that culminated in the first ever World Championship for the Astros.
His focus while with Houston was on player development – something that Baltimore needs desperately during this transitional period.
With so many rumors of the quality people Elias is thinking of bringing into The Warehouse, the looming rebuild will still be painful, but it is a heck of a lot better than it could have been. Elias brings a fresh approach to scouting, development, and analytics that Baltimore has fallen back on, as the rest of the AL East (and, indeed, most of baseball) has moved into those aspects of the game and improved their franchises because of it.
On a personal level – I can’t find where Mike Elias is married. He’s Yale educated, obviously loves baseball, and is really cute. Sir, I am currently in Annapolis. Just saying.