Astros front office update: Assistant GM Mike Elias to become Oriole’s GM
By Brian Murray
All but official at this point, Astros‘ assistant general manager Mike Elias is expected to be named the new general manager for the Baltimore Orioles.
Based on the latest update from Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, it appears the Astros’ assistant general manager, Mike Elias, will soon be announced as the new Orioles’ general manager, where he will head up baseball operations in Baltimore. Feinsand also reports Sig Mejdal, a front office executive who recently left the Astros, is expected to join Baltimore’s front office with Elias.
Elias has been with the Astros since 2011, when he was hired by general manager Jeff Luhnow as Director of Amateur Scouting. Over the years his roll increased, taking over player development and minor league operations. He was reportedly the main drive behind selecting Carlos Correa as their top pick in the 2012 draft. During his tenure as scouting director he also brought in players like Lance McCullers Jr., Alex Bregman, Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker.
Elias would be replacing former general manager Dan Duquette, who was fired on Oct. 3, along with manager Buck Showalter after the 2018 Orioles finished with the worst record (47-115) in franchise history.
Mejdal, a former NASA engineer, was hired in 2012 as the Director of Decision Sciences. He was considered responsible for building the skilled analytical team for Houston, which also consisted of Senior Technical Director Ryan Hallahan and Director of Research and Development Director Mike Fast.
Fast has departed the team’s staff and has since joined the Atlanta Braves to serve as the special assistant to the General Manager. Hallahan now serves as the Software Development Consultant for the Astros. The mass exodus of the analytical team has caused the Astros to rebuild that department. Eshan Bokhari, formerly a senior analyst with the Dodgers, has been hired as the new Director of Research and Development. Sarah Gelles will be the new Program Manager in the department, and she ironically led Baltimore’s analytic department.
Mike Elias is also rumored to possibly bring Houston’s bench coach Joe Espada along with him, to serve as the Orioles new manager.
As reported here by Mark Berman of KRIV-Fox 26, Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch confirmed Espada has spoken with several teams about their managerial openings. Espada will be joining a long list of coaches to also depart Houston. Hitting coach Dave Hudgens, assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert, and bullpen coach Doug White are among that list.
As with any successful business, the recent accomplishments of the Astros have drawn interest in their talent from other major league teams. It will be a big test of the front office to see how they handle the recent upheaval and rebuilding of their staff, to maintain their current fortune.