LAS VEGAS — New Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Monday at the winter meetings that vice president Brady Anderson, the highest-ranking baseball operations executive he inherited who is still with the club, is among the many carryover employees he's worked well with since his hiring last month.
"There's a lot of good people here," Elias said. "They're doing good work. They're helping out across a lot of areas. I view him as no different. He has a lot of institutional knowledge, not only as a front office executive but also dating back to when he was player. That is very valuable to me."
Anderson was one of three executives, including director of player development Brian Graham and director of amateur scouting Gary Rajsich, who were among the team's leadership group after executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter were dismissed Oct. 3. Graham was interim general manager until Elias ultimately let him and Rajsich go last month.
Still, there have been some public questions about Anderson's role in the management structure after he had a variety of responsibilities in the previous administration.
The way Elias laid out some of the day-to-day operations before he fills out his staff, with director of baseball operations Tripp Norton liaising with free agents and other teams and director of Pacific Rim operations and baseball development Mike Snyder taking on a more significant role in pro scouting, didn't include Anderson when he first discussed it.
But considering Anderson's experience in everything from contract negotiations and data to fitness and player development, Elias and Anderson will have plenty of avenues to find a way for him to best help the organization.
"We'll keep working and figure out the best way to deploy that and provide value to me and to us, but I'm working very well with a lot of these guys here," Elias said. "He's one of them."
Around the horn
Elias said the Orioles were monitoring the free-agent market, but he doesn't expect them to be a "fast mover" where that's concerned. While noting that depth could be added in the middle infield and at catcher, Elias said the Orioles will "look for improvements everywhere." ... Elias said Jonathan Villar is the Orioles' "primary shortstop right now." ... The Orioles’ two open 40-man roster spots mean the club is keeping the option open of making two selections in Thursday's Rule 5 draft, Elias said.