Dear Mr. Elias,
First off, as a member of the Baltimore Orioles fan community, I would like to extend a warm thank you for what you have accomplished so far in your tenure as Vice President of Baseball Operations and GM.
Anyone can look at the Baltimore Orioles and see that a shiny new foundation has been erected from the doldrums of dirt that existed when you first arrived.
When you came to us November 16, 2018, you came with a hard hat, a brief case of blue prints and a job sheet of what you envisioned building the Orioles from the ground up would look like.
Now, as fans, we remember an embarrassing 2018 season that saw us win a league-worst 47 games. This definitely left many of us with a bad taste in our mouths, especially after we experienced success with a lot of the team that had started and played together since 2012.
There was still some hope that Buck Showalter would be brought back to the dugout, maybe move into a front office position. But no, you had other plans.
We accepted but kept a close eye on you. Over the course of the last few years, there has been a lot of pain; we have a few 100-plus loss seasons after all.
You have managed to bring us some amazing talent, starting with the all-world, multi-talented catcher, Adley Rutschman. So far, he appears to be that cornerstone piece the club can build around.
Not to be overly spoiled, you managed to find a hidden gem in an all-around stud of an infielder, Gunnar Henderson. Both top prospects, both game-changing athletes and both of them in our organization.
You have managed to keep mainstays Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle. I know it was hard, but you also resisted the hesitation of trading away fan-favorite Trey Mancini when it was ultimately the right move for the organization moving forward.
It was hard watching Trey go, but he deserved to have a chance to win a ring (which he did).
We also have to give you credit for putting together one of the finest collections of rag-tag bullpen arms and managing to find a way to have them coached to the fifth best bullpen in baseball.
If that wasn’t an amazing magic trick, you found a shortstop that razzled and dazzled us almost every night in Jorge Mateo. How does someone with his talent manage to fall through the cracks and land in our lap?
After all the magic, the hidden gems and bonafide future stars you have managed to acquire and grow, we have to ask: Why are you so scared of improving our starting rotation?
You have shown your ability to secure talent all over our team and throughout the organization, but when it comes to an established starter, you seem to have dropped the ball.
We might have forgiven you for that if there was some growth seen from the free agent market. We competed for a playoff spot until the final week of the 2022 season, yet we have decided to keep the same pieces in place.
We are supposed to be on the doorstep of competitiveness, yet somehow we aren’t taking the opportunity to take a step forward. We, as fans of Baltimore, would like to know why.
We have watched big names like Verlander and deGrom turn other teams into automatic postseason favorites. We knew we weren’t going to sign that caliber of pitcher, but we thought maybe a Noah Syndergaard, Sean Manaea or Chris Bassitt would be willing to wear the orange and black.
Even now, Nathan Evolidi and Michael Wacha are on the open market, and you could probably lock them up for a couple of years for less than $30 million. Hell, I’d see if we can convince Carlos Rodón to join us for three years at $90 million.
We are starting to get cranky and a little irritable, and it is easy to see why. The Oakland Athletics have made a bigger impact on the market than us, and we are supposed to be an up-and-coming talent-rich team.
Up our cornerstones, while building around them, would be the best way to keep this generation of Orioles together as long as possible.
Not to mention, you would make a lot of fans a little more happy, and not as leary, if you showed an urge to keep our young pieces together. That is the hardest part of building a team and remaining competitive.
We would be remiss if we didn’t express our thoughts to you, as you’re the one guiding the ship. I know the storm has started to break, but we would like to see the sunrise before the nighttime shows itself.
Please, don’t take this the wrong way. We do appreciate the return to respectability and the tower you have assembled. But as long-time fans, who haven’t sniffed a World Series since Cal Ripken Jr. was a young, up-and-coming star, we are becoming evermore impatient.
We would like for us to continue that trend upward and back to the land of glory, and you are the one who will finish putting the puzzle together. The question is: How much longer do we continue to wait?
Long-time Orioles fan, Stephen Heckman
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6 thoughts on “(O’)pen letter to Orioles GM Mike Elias”
I had high hopes for Elias and still do. This signing of Frazier is certainly a head scratcher as not only was it costly, but makes little sense, on any level.
I can only think that Elias’s hands are tied by ownership. The reason I say that is that is he has to know that within the next couple years, there aren’t many starter prospects coming. We WILL need to sign a free agent or make a big trade, for one or two starters. Rutchmann/Henderson, our big hopes, those players clocks have started.
Every year I hear complaining about the costs of free agents. Every year, it goes up. Next year, these middle of road pitchers will cost even more. (Baseball finance is a joke and we all know it). This is the cost of doing business in the money hungry MLB. Where everyone fill’s their pockets with no regard for the game.
It is pay me now, or pay me later. The clock is ticking Mike. This is starting to look too much like the last “window”.
Elias has proven he knows what he is doing and O’s fans are just that, FANS. My comment isn’t about who or when we should sign/trade for a proven starter, my comment is more about transparency. I’d love to see Elias more vocal and let the fans know what the plan is moving forward. Elias said that we, our O’s would make a big splash this off-season and while the Yanks and Dodgers and Padres and others are performing cannonballs in the deep end, we haven’t even got our toes wet in the kiddie pool. It is time for Elias to make a statement and let the fans know where we are in signining/trading for a front line starter.
Bring back Trey Mancini. It’s the right thing to do for Trey and the loyal Orioles fans.
I think Mike Elias is the best GM in baseball bar none. He’s done the most with the least and is exceptional at finding talent. First thing the Orioles need to do is lock him up long term, and then he needs to lock up Rutschman long term.
I agree. Elias is the best, and I think overlooked by MLB circles, which is fine by me. I do agree, lock him up and the nucleus of young players before it’s too late.
Elias has done a fair job with the minors, but I have to believe that the train wreck named Angelos will not allow Elias to spend at the majors level.
Elias may be building a trade for a good starting pitcher. Why continue to add more infielders and outfielders? Last I checked there are still 4 infield positions and the O’s are loaded with infield prospects…….more than they need. Trade for a good pitcher Mr. Elias.