What kind of manager will Orioles hire to replace Showalter? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What kind of manager will Orioles hire to replace Showalter?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Taking advantage of an off-day during the World Series, the Minnesota Twins appointed the major leagues’ first millennial manager. Rocco Baldelli, who was born in September 1981, becomes the first manager born in the 1980s.

Baldelli, who was Tampa Bay’s field coordinator, was the third manager hired this week, following David Bell (Cincinnati) and Brad Ausmus (Los Angeles Angels).

Later in the day, word came that the Toronto Blue Jays had decided to hire 55-year-old Charlie Montoya, the Rays’ bench coach, as their manager.

The Orioles haven’t yet decided who will head their baseball operations. It’s expected they’ll make an announcement soon after the World Series ends, which could be as early as Saturday if the Boston Red Sox continue their domination of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Free-agency begins after the World Series, and while Director of Player Development Brian Graham is filling in as acting general manager, a new hierarchy isn’t far away.

Assuming the Orioles hire someone shortly after the World Series, it could take until nearly Thanksgiving before a manager is named. Last year, the New York Yankees fired Joe Girardi on Oct. 26 and didn’t hire Aaron Boone until early December.

Since the end of last season, six name managers, Girardi, Dusty Baker (Washington), John Farrell (Boston), Mike Matheny (St. Louis), Mike Scioscia (Angels) and Showalter have been let go. None has found another managing job.

Baldelli, Bell and Montoya are first-time managers while Ausmus, who was let go last season after four years with Detroit, is getting a second chance. While Girardi and Farrell apparently have interviewed for jobs and Matheny was linked with Toronto, teams have seemed to opt for younger, lower-profile and more inexpensive managers.

The next Orioles manager is assuredly going to be paid far less than the $3.5 million Showalter was reportedly paid in 2018. He might make less than the $1 million Mike Hargrove earned when he began a four-year stint with the team in 2000.

Everyone wants to know who it will be, but there won’t be any clues until we find out who’s doing the hiring. The Orioles are the only team looking for a manager and GM.

The New York Mets and San Francisco Giants have managers, and are looking for general managers. The Giants’ skipper, Bruce Bochy, has three World Series rings and is the longest tenured manager in the game.

Having an opportunity to basically create your own organization might makes the Orioles’ job more appealing than others in the majors.

But what kind of a manager is likely to be interviewed? Girardi, who interviewed in Cincinnati and Texas, removed himself from consideration from those jobs. His last contract with the Yankees was for four years and $16 million.

The rebuilding Orioles aren’t going to pay that much for a manager, and Girardi presumably will stay at MLB Network.

Mark DeRosa, who’s been a popular name floated, also was said to have taken himself out of the running in Texas for a return to MLB Network. However, that might mean he just wasn’t interested in that job.

Another popular recent player-turned-broadcaster, David Ross, has reportedly said he’s opted to stay at ESPN.

The names reportedly in play in Texas aren’t high-profile ones.

Some of those under consideration for the Rangers’ job include Don Wakamatsu, who finished the season as Texas’ interim manager and formerly managed Seattle; Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde; Eric Chavez, who was a Triple-A manager in the Angels’ organization this season; Phillies coach Dusty Wathan; Houston bench coach Joe Espada; Cardinals Triple-A manager Stubby Clapp; and Rangers assistant GM Jayce Tingler.

Toronto sifted through more than a dozen candidates to replace John Gibbons.

If the Orioles have a list as long as the Blue Jays, their exploratory process might take several weeks.

Baldelli had also interviewed with Texas and Toronto, and is what passes for a hot candidate this time around.

The Texas list doesn’t include the usual suspects, and the Orioles list might not, either.

The Mets’ GM search includes agent Brodie Van Wagenen, who represents two prominent players on the team, Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom, as well as the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman.

Could it be possible that the Orioles will have out-of-the-box candidates for their top jobs?

Orioles sign four international free agents

After missing out on Cuban outfielders Victor Victor Mesa, his brother Victor and pitcher Sandy Gaston, the Orioles signed four international prospects.

Outfielders Kevin Infante, an 18-year-old from Cuba; Angel Gomez, a 17-year-old from Venezuela; shortstop Gilbert Machado, also a 17-year-old from Venezuela; and right-hander Kelvin Larcoche, a 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic, were added.

Infante was signed for a bonus of $175,000, according to an industry source.

Graham, the interim GM, said in a statement:

“Infante is a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder who also possesses the skill set to play second base. He’s a plus runner with a good offensive approach, and we believe that he will develop to be a productive hitter. Gomez is a well-rounded, right-handed hitting outfielder who can run, throw, and play all three outfield positions. LaRoche is a durable, right-handed pitcher, whose consistent delivery allows him to throw strikes. Machado is a natural shortstop with plus defensive skills and athleticism. We look forward to having our player development staff work with all four players to further enhance their skills.”

Free-agency beckons for Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez, who had signed one-year contracts with the Orioles in each of the past three springs, is apparently not signing a fourth one. The 31-year-old Alvarez has again filed for free-agency.

After beginning the season with the Orioles, Alvarez was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk in June. He hit .180 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 49 games with the Orioles. In 43 games with Norfolk, Alvarez hit .285 with eight homers and 32 RBIs.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. OsBrosStrohs

    October 26, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Unfortunately i believe the Orioles alread have their “President of Baseball Operations”. His name is Brady Anderson. They are just waiting to announce that they didn’t find any “better” candidates and decided to promote Anderson to gve him a chance.

    And, based on how they’ve been operating in the past and their total tone deaf response to the Marlins and the Mesa’s. this would be would fall into their typical ” we are gonna change” blathering lip service they tell the fans while not really doing anything different than they have always done.

  2. Birdman

    October 26, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Four other teams have already named their new manager. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, no GM, no manager, and no communication from the organization to their shrinking fan base.

    • VICTORTEE

      October 26, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Typical O’s. Slow as molasses. They should have fired Dan by Memorial Day and hired a new top guy to make the trade deadline moves.

  3. Orial

    October 26, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Not at all concerned that no new VP/GM/Mgr have been named it’s only 2 weeks after season’s end. What hurts is the Orioles persona of being slow moving that makes it appear they’re dragging their feet. WS ends soon and and as the norm announcements will follow. Hey the “future” could have ties to the Red Sox or Dodgers. DeRosa is still my choice followed by Bordick. Cora’s bench coach(sorry don’t recall name) is learning and seeing a lot. As far as International signings I feel pleased. Looking back the normal amount is usually $1-$2million so Mesa’s $5mill seems very exhorbitant. Final note:Brady’s presence still scares me and I also fear he could ruin next week’s “announcement party”.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Alex Cora’s bench coach is Ron Roenicke, brother of former Oriole Gary Roenicke. He’s a long-time major league coach and managed the Brewers before Craig Counsell, Orial.

    • Jbigle1

      October 28, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Top players get the money. If Mesa was just another one of the prospects maybe he’d get that but he was head and shoulders the best prospect. Miami did what they could to get him and we had no chance in the end. However being pleased with what the orioles have done with their spending capacity is nothing but being an apologist. There is absolutely no reason why we didn’t pull out all the stops to get Gaston. He signed for less than 3 million dollars. We likely won’t even use that money. No excuse.

  4. bmorebirds

    October 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Rich, can’t speak to what kind of manager the Birds might hire. Could guesstimate with a higher degree of accuracy if a new GM were in place.
    For me, the real news is the signing of four international players. Awesome! There really is intelligent life in the Warehouse, despite the infuriating radio silence.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

      bmorebirds, perhaps there will be more news coming in the next few days.

  5. Sisco Kid

    October 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I think the organization as a whole is (hopefully) looking towards getting younger and more in tune with this century of baseball. With a team that’s about to be probably mostly made up of young guys, they will relate better to a younger manager than an older guy like Buck.
    In regard to the GM, I’m hoping that they either hire Kim Ng or Ben Cherington. I’d be really happy if either of those folks got the call. Then they should hire their own manager. Our team has to be brought up to speed with the rest of the league, which I believe means moving toward a younger, more analytics-based GM and manager.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I think that will be the case, Sisco.

  6. 5brooks5

    October 26, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I know this article is about the next manager, but I’m more concerned with the front office. I hope they hire Ms. Ng even if it means taking on Colletti as part of the package. We need to make a statement and this young woman deserves a chance. Let’s give it to her, smart, articulate, young, new approach, wow what novel idea. And then LET her do her job !

    • Bancells Moustache

      October 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

      At the risk of dragging BB’s comment section into decidedly nasty 2018 discourse, I gotta ask (because I genuinely don’t know): what exactly makes Ms Ng a slam-dunk candidate for GM job? I’m sure the hire will garner glowing reviews in Salon and Huffington Post, but I have never heard of this person until a few weeks ago.

      • Rich Dubroff

        October 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

        Bancells, I’m sure many of the candidates being considered for head of baseball operations are not ones you’re familiar with because many are assistants to GMs of other franchises. Some are not terribly familiar to me, and I’m around this stuff all the time.

        Kim Ng has worked in Major League Baseball for more than 20 years in the front offices of the White Sox, Yankees and Dodgers. Most recently, she’s worked for MLB.

        I don’t know her, but from what I heard, she is certainly qualified to run a major league front office.

        I am impressed that you’re familiar with Salon and the Huffington Post. How about The Economist?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 11:11 am

      5Brooks, I’m sure Kim Ng, who will turn 50 in a few weeks, would appreciate being described as “young.” I don’t know who will be hired, but she has certainly been considered by other teams and has more than two decades of relevant experience.

  7. willmiranda

    October 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Happy Trails to Pedro, a good soldier. Hope he finds a good organization and a happy future.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 11:12 am

      Will, I’m sure Pedro will appreciate your good wishes.

  8. boss61

    October 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    There is something all about this that remains hard to believe. I knew by mid April that the O’s were out of the race, and by two months later that the team was headed for a historically bad record. The July fire sale of departed players (including the Gausman surprise) but quite the exclamation point on that.

    So ownership reasonably knew or should have known by mid summer that they were going to make (or not make) wholesale changes. Nothing could have happened in August and September to change an outcome in the standings that was crystal clear all year. Accordingly, ownership had weeks and weeks to get in front of the pack in implementing change. Instead, here we are as seeming tailgunners.

    Being the boss occasionally means being decisive and having the courage of one’s convictions. I’d have kept Dan Duquette and would have made final decisions on him and on Buck before the All Star Game. Who knows, but had the O’s done so and demonstated both within and outside baseball that we have a plan, one or more Cuban guys may just be with us instead of all in Florida.

    Right now the team runs about as well as my first car. As I once told a mechanic about that ’75 Plymouth Fury – “much needs fixing.”

  9. Jacobs1928

    October 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Let us not go out of the pastO’s winners …make Anderson G.M. make either Bordick
    Or Dempsey manager get ex Orioles in the management of the organization.
    Let us have a team the has leaders that were winners…and get rid of Davis

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Anderson, Bordick and Dempsey
      Might be popular candidates, Jacobs.

  10. BirdsCaps

    October 26, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    I try not to post angry, but that’s where I’m coming from today. The conventional wisdom is that the Birds will not spend money on a manager or Gm because the team is rebuilding. However, why are the o’s worried about money, the team is full of pre-arbs and life long AAAA players. If there is a manager or GM that will help the team there should be more than enough money to sign them. Also, reading the article and comments there is an emphasis on what ownership wants. What well run pro sports team has this mindset? I can think of a few NFL teams that use this approach (Redskins and Cowboys), but everyone knows that ownership is just getting in the way. Just because O’s ownership can run a law firm well, why do they think that they can run baseball operations? Any human being that knows that knowledge is specialized and decentralized can tell that just because someone can bankroll a ballclub, it doesn’t mean that they should direct every aspect of it. The roll of ownership should be to write checks, pose with a championship trophy, and speak about and meddle in operations very infrequently (see state of the Ravens address). I guess the penny-pinching and the organizational stupidity will continue until ownership learns to stay in its lane (likely never).

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      BirdsCaps, it’s the industry that’s not spending on managers. The Yankees are reportedly paying Aaron Boone just over a million dollars.

  11. OriolesNumber1Fan

    October 27, 2018 at 9:19 am

    A couple of points here. The “4 international signings” were done like a month ago but were not announced. Just a PR move in case the O’s struck out with “big 3” which they did. 2nd, O’s shouldn’t use $$$ & budget as an excuse since the Marlins, the lowest payroll signed them!!! New mgr makes no difference as 14 more years of losing won’t matter now since Buck is gone. Cherington, Ng and Colletti are all available now and are not tied to either Red Sox or Dodgers so what are they waiting for… Do they have to move “glacier slow” or “continental drift slow” on making a move for crying out loud!!!

  12. Ekim

    October 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Someone who believes in miracles or is blind to the reality of the situation with ownership.

  13. OriolesNumber1Fan

    October 27, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    I’m not blind about anything. Been an Orioles fan since I was 5 up here in NY and I’m not the Orioles Number 1 Fan by name alone. No one knows more about the Orioles or loves the Orioles more than yours truely so shut up.

  14. johninbethany

    October 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Rich what’s frustrating is that we hear nothing from the Orioles. Who are they interviewing? What is the timeline for hiring the replacements? Not hearing anything gives a negative impression.

  15. bats in the blefary

    October 31, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    “A new hierarchy isn’t far away.” I guess that depends on what you consider far away. the boys are as slow as the old man. I understand that these hires are critical, but it’s important that they get rolling. I did see that as near.

  16. BirdsCaps

    October 31, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    If they don’t go the nice guy route (Gary Kendall), maybe they should go for the no nonsense route. Maybe go with Matt Williams. Could anyone imagine what Williams would have done when Machado didn’t run out ground balls? Even though I will always be somewhat fond of Machado (followed him since 2010 in Aberdeen) , I would have paid to see Williams reaction to some of Machado’s antics.

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