The quiet search, kept so intentionally by John and Louis Angelos to ensure a thorough process, slowed a bit last week with MLB's general manager meetings, but some candidates were told at the time of their interviews that a decision would come this week. Though that could change as new names emerge and old ones revisit the situation after mid-October interviews, it fits with the organization's initial timeline for a search that they laid out at the start.
As a way of resetting the process a bit, here's a rundown of the publicly known candidates and why they might be intriguing to the Orioles — and vice versa.
Since he left Boston, Cherington has been vice president of baseball operations under general manager Ross Atkins in Toronto, with a focus on a Blue Jays farm system that has blossomed in the last few years and currently has two top-five prospects in Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. His experience in every facet of an organization is helpful in the Orioles' eyes, as is the fact that he's held a team's highest position and overseen the execution of that vision on a larger level.
A month after dismissing executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter following the worst season in franchise history, the Orioles' search for a new individual to lead the organization’s baseball operations continues.
The assistant general manager of the Houston Astros under Jeff Luhnow, Elias would only be the latest to leave the vaunted front office of the 2017 World Series champions this offseason after a handful of departures already. What could make him valuable for the Astros to keep him around is the same thing that makes him intriguing to the Orioles.
With Houston, Elias serves as the domestic and international scouting director. His first draft with the club was in 2012, when he steered them toward star shortstop Carlos Correa at No. 1 overall, and their drafts yielded more major leaguers than any other club from 2013 to 2017. His amateur scouting roots come from the similarly prolific St. Louis Cardinals organization, where he was a scout and later the manager of amateur scouting. Houston has also been successful on the international front, supplying the depth for several major trades from their Latin American efforts.
The executive search would be daunting enough, but another round of arbitration in the long-running Mid-Atlantic Sports Network rights dispute with the Washington Nationals also is a major source of concern for the Orioles. Both situations could come to a head this month.
Though he never got over the hump in his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colletti built plenty of winning teams in his nine years there and did it in a variety of ways. The Dodgers were aggressive in trades, used their financial clout internationally, and drafted Clayton Kershaw. Before he was hired there in 2005, Colletti was the director of baseball operations and then the assistant general manager of the San Francisco Giants from 1990 to 2004, coming from the Chicago Cubs organization.
Colletti would probably fit best as part of a two-tiered system in the Orioles' hierarchy, using his vast experience to chart a course for the organization and keep things tight administratively while someone who might have more experience integrating analytics and technology into a modern organization oversees that.
A former do-it-all member of the Orioles front office who went to Philadelphia with a host of other former Baltimore executives in 2015, Rice is the assistant general manager for the Phillies after a decade with the Orioles that saw him rise to player information analyst and then assistant director of major league operations before his departure. His expertise in everything from analytics and contracts to rules and transaction stipulations made him a font of information when he was with the Orioles, and he's doing all that for the Phillies now, too.
Other than his familiarity with the Orioles system and the significant amount of respect the holdovers from the previous regimes have for him, Rice's previous work interfacing with players on the analytics side of the game will help the Orioles overcome the silo mentality that has developed between their field staffs at the major and minor league level and the analytics-minded people in the organization. Rice can make that all work in concert.
Recently reported as a candidate by The Athletic, Woodfork has a Harvard degree and was part of the Red Sox's front office in the mid-2000s on the operations and player development side before five years in the Arizona Diamondbacks front office under Josh Byrnes as assistant general manager and later vice president. He's been working for major league baseball as senior vice president of baseball operations overseeing umpiring and instant replay since early 2001.
Woodfork's experience on the administrative side, plus his background in player development and roster construction, make for a unique combination of skills. It would also be a nice gesture for the Orioles to reach into the MLB executive pipeline considering all the issues between the league office and the team over the MASN television dispute.
Another front office veteran who does his work out of Major League Baseball, Brooks was one of the first candidates reported by multiple outlets and has local roots as a University of Maryland product to boot. Before joining MLB as director of the league's Diversity Pipeline Program in January 2016, he was the Pittsburgh Pirates' director of baseball personnel from 2009 on.
Brooks has a scouting background from his time with the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves as well. His new role has him tapped into the organizational structure and presumably the wants and needs of the rest of the league, so he wouldn’t have any trouble building a talented and diverse staff in Baltimore if it comes to it.
A Sykesville native who just completed his first season as the Kansas City Royals' vice president/assistant general manager, Sharp spent eight years as a scout before joining the Royals in 2006 as the assistant director of player development. He later climbed to the role of director of minor league operations and director of player development before his current role.
Sharp would be coming to the Orioles from a club in a similar rebuilding spot, though Kansas City has done a much better job of executing the Orioles' prior plan of building through the draft and focusing on speed and defense in recent years than the Orioles have.