Orioles Preview - Pages 20 and 21 - Rebuilding Crew

Orioles Preview
- Pages 20 and 21
Rebuilding Crew

How the Orioles united Mike Elias, Brandon Hyde and Sig Mejdal to remake club


By Jon Meoli | The Baltimore Sun


SARASOTA, FLA. — Mike Elias couldn’t have been anywhere more fitting when the call came last fall from his boss in Houston, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, to relay that the Orioles requested to interview him for the promotion of a lifetime.


He was on the road, scouting at a Dominican Prospect League tournament in Jupiter, which brought the best international amateurs for the 2019 signing class into one place in late October— about a week after the Astros’ season ended one step shy of the World Series.


Elias, 36, and Luhnow, the only baseball boss he’d ever known, talked it through. A month later, Elias was announced as the new executive vice president and general manager of baseball’s latest modern-day rebuilding project in Baltimore. The move set off a frantic offseason that included the hires of assistant general manager for analytics Sig Mejdal and manager Brandon Hyde, and overhauls to several baseball operations departments with one mission in mind: to create a new version of the drafting-and development behemoth that helped the likes of the Chicago Cubs and Astros win World Series in 2016 and 2017, respectively.


“Our goal is not to cobble together a one-year wonder team that has a chance at making the playoffs, but if things go wrong, we’ll have to break it down,” Elias said. “We want to do this right. We need a sustainable pipeline of talent that starts in the amateur world and extends all the way up here to the major league level. We need to do the things necessary to build that pipeline.”


That, more than immediate major league success when the season begins March 28 at the New York Yankees, is why the offseason in