Houston Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias is poised to become the Orioles’ next head of baseball operations, according to several news outlets.
Elias was a key component in the successful rebuild of the 2017 World Series champion Astros as their scouting director and then-assistant general manager.
USA Today, MLB.com and the Houston Chronicle have reported his impending hire, based on unnamed sources. However, the Orioles have not confirmed his selection or commented on the reports, which first surfaced late Tuesday night.
Elias, who replaces former executive vice president Dan Duquette atop the Orioles’ baseball operations hierarchy, was part of an exhaustive six-week search by executive vice president John Angelos and ownership representative Louis Angelos.
Other candidates include former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, MLB executives Peter Woodfork and Tyrone Brooks, and Philadelphia Phillies assistant general manager Ned Rice.
Elias, 35, was an early hire of Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who came over from a successful stint heading up the farm system and drafts of the St. Louis Cardinals to rebuild the Astros.
Elias has been in Houston since January 2012, a six-year stint in which the Astros secured the top pick in the draft by virtue of having the worst record in baseball three times. They took advantage of that position to help build the 2017 World Series champions and one of the best young rosters in baseball.
January 2012 – Hired as a special assistant to Luhnow in Houston, where he helped scouting director Bobby Heck on the first draft of the Astros' rebuild. Top pick Carlos Correa was one of nine major leaguers from that 2012 draft class.
August 2012 – Named Astros director of scouting.
August 2016 – Promoted to Astros assistant general manager with oversight of player development and minor league operations.
Just a handful of Astros who won last year's World Series were with the team when their rebuild began, a signal to the Orioles and their fans that they might not see the current players around when the winning returns.
Correa's selection over Mike Zunino and Byron Buxton was a surprise at the time, but proved prescient as the Astros took advantage of the first draft with bonus pool allotments to sign several players to above-slot bonuses.
Houston went through an ignominious summer in 2014 after selecting Aiken first overall and not signing him because of a reported elbow issue that arose in the medicals. Not signing Aiken led to two other players with above-slot bonuses not signing, either, leading to the Astros to come under intense scrutiny.