MLB General Managers are holding their annual meeting in Scottsdale, and this morning we learned that Mike Elias has been named MLB’s Executive of the Year. Each team submits one vote prior to the postseason. This is a newer award, having debuted in 2018, so Elias of course becomes the O’s first recipient.
So far, it’s been a disappointing week of awards, as each of the O’s three Gold Glove finalists, Adley Rutschman, Austin Hays, and Ryan Mountcastle, failed to bring home the hardware. However, Gunnar Henderson is widely expected to run away with the American League Rookie of the Year honor, so we’ve got that to look forward to as well.
Back to Elias though, this honor is of course very well deserved, regardless of the Birds’ disappointing postseason. His “elite talent pipeline” which he’s been assembling since he arrived in Charm City, has been paying dividends as the players he’s drafted and/or developed have reached the majors, and trade acquisitions have blossomed. In addition to the aforementioned Rutschman and Henderson, players like Jordan Westburg, Joey Ortiz, Kyle Stowers, and Colton Cowser all contributed to the 101-win 2023 AL East champs in varying degrees. Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall (hat tip to Dan Duquette), have come into their own under the Elias regime. Kyle Bradish, whom Elias acquired for Dylan Bundy, was robbed of being an AL Cy Young finalist. Yennier Cano, who came over in the Jorge Lopez deal in 2022, was “The Rock” of the bullpen for long stretches. We can’t forget Felix Bautista, whose incredible season was cut short by an elbow injury.
The next step for Elias is to start locking up some of this young talent long term. As we know in Baltimore, that could be easier said than done considering the guy holding the checkbook hasn’t shown the slightest inkling that he’s ready to spend any notable amount of money. In addition to contract extensions, Birdland would like to see Elias trade away some of the players who clearly have no path to regular playing time in Baltimore, such as infielder Connor Norby, for pieces that will help the squad avoid the type of quick postseason flameout we just witnessed.
Mike Elias has put Baltimore back on the baseball map. For that, we’re incredibly grateful, and extend our congratulations to him and the entire front office.