LAS VEGAS—Mike Elias isn’t ready to announce Brandon Hyde as the Orioles’ new manager. However, the team’s general manager says that he’s getting closer to a decision.
“I feel very good where we’re at with it,” Elias said Wednesday on the third day of the Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “A lot’s happened in the last 24 hours.”
On Tuesday, there were reports that the Orioles had hired Hyde, the 45-year-old bench coach of the Chicago Cubs.
“The reports that were out there were premature and overzealous,” Elias said. “In my position, I can’t be out in front of events or the one who’s naming names or specifying timelines in public, obviously, but I think we’re in good shape. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to have a hire, a good hire, in due time.”
Elias said that “the reports, and the way the reports were characterized were premature and inaccurate at that time. But, this is an unusual situation. We’re at the Winter Meetings doing this. Rumors have a tendency to snowball into reports at the Winter Meetings.”
Although an announcement isn’t imminent, Elias is encouraged. “We continue to make progress, getting closer to a hire every day, and today was no different,” he said.
“The way that certain things were phrased or characterized is just not reflected of where we were at at that time, but I’m making progress and we’ll see what happens.”
Elias said that the manager will have much to say about his coaching staff. “More than I will have is probably the best way I will phrase that,” he said.
During the interviewing process, Elias asked each managerial candidate to supply a list of names for the coaching staff.
“I’m trying to do this as fast as possible,” he said. “We’ve got to hire a lot of coaches. We’ve got a lot of things to do. This is a really important hire [not only] for the present, but for the future of this franchise … The sooner, the better as far as I’m concerned.”
With regard to additional front-office hires, Elias allowed that it may be early next year before he bolsters his staff.
“Very clearly we’re going to be adding, specifically in the spaces of our analytics group,” he said. “In our international scouting department. I know there will be others.”
Earlier in the day, Chris Davis’ agent, Scott Boras, said that he met with Elias.
“It behooves us, and it behooves Chris and it behooves the Boras Corporation to collaborate and share notes on how we can turn his performance around this year,” Elias said.
“I really feel like we will all be pulling on the same rope in that regard. I haven’t talked to or met with Chris yet. I’m waiting to hire a manager first, but I’m looking forward to doing that.”
Davis is entering the fourth year of a seven-year, $161-million contract. Including deferred money, the Orioles owe him $110 million.
“He’s on the team,” Elias said. “He’s on this team for a while. I want to see his production get better. He’s a big part of this roster. He’s a big part of the lineup. This team is much worse when he’s not a dangerous force in the middle of the lineup.
“He’s a good teammate. He cares a lot about the Orioles. I know that he was personally just extremely frustrated with the year he had, and it wore on him. I think turning the page to 2019, new front office, new manager, probably some new coaches will be good for him.”
Adam Jones has visited teams this week. The Orioles haven’t been linked with Jones, and Elias praised him.
“I’ve heard only wonderful things about him since getting to Baltimore,” Elias said. “Before I was in Baltimore, it was very obvious that he was an important fixture in the city and on the roster, and in the clubhouse. I’ve heard nothing different since joining the organization.
“We’ll monitor the free-agent market. I think he’s no different in that regard. I expect to be on the slower and later side with major free-agent moves just because of the other work that we’re doing.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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