LAS VEGAS—Orioles executive vice president and Mike Elias has interviewed six candidates to replace Buck Showalter as manager, and he expects to choose one from that group.
Speaking on the first day of the Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Elias said he hopes to have a new manager by the end of the month.
“We’re pretty far along in the manager’s search,” Elias said.
Three of the reported candidates have major league experience: Chip Hale (Arizona), Mike Redmond (Miami), and Manny Acta, whose interview was reported by FanCred sports. Acta has managed the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians, and is the Seattle Mariners’ third base coach.
The reported candidates who don’t have major league managerial experience are Mike Bell, Pedro Grifol and Brandon Hyde.
Elias wouldn’t comment specifically on the candidates and said no offer has been made.
“One thing that’s been pretty clear to me through this is that there’s a reason that these guys have put themselves into a position to be considered as major league managers,” Elias said.
“They’re very impressive candidates all around. We have a good choice to make, but it’s a difficult decision to make. I think we have a lot of good choices. I’m still in the process of doing deeper background work on the candidates right now.”
In his introductory press conference on Nov. 19, Elias said he felt having a manager in place by the Winter Meetings set up an “artificial deadline.”
“This is a big hire,” Elias said. “This is somebody who’s going to be here for a long time.”
Orioles add an infielder
Earlier in the day, Elias made his first acquisition of a major league player, picking up third baseman Rio Ruiz on waivers from Atlanta. Elias drafted Ruiz for Houston in 2012. He was sent to the Braves in 2015. In 72 games over the past three seasons, Ruiz has hit .189.
“I can’t say that the factor that he was drafted by us with the Astros was a huge factor in it other than the comfort in that you know he’s a good person and a good teammate,” Elias said.
“We feel he’s a good fit for us right now. He’s a left-handed bat. His primary position is third base. We have a need for some depth there. We have an opportunity for some competition there. The fact that he’s left-handed and Renato Nunez is right-handed works out well.”
The Orioles lost pitcher Ryan Meisinger on waivers to St. Louis. Meisinger, who was drafted in the 11th round in 2015, was 2-1 with a 6.43 ERA in 18 games last season.
Three days before the Rule 5 draft, the Orioles still have 38 players on the roster. Elias said he is “game planning” to make two selections in the draft, though the team may not make a second pick. The Orioles will choose first on Thursday.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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