BALTIMORE -- The Orioles aren't expecting to unveil a new president of baseball operations today. So let's delve into your questions about the state of the O's instead.The silence regarding the front office speaks volumes. Other clubs are filling their holes, and we are just waiting around. Why?-- Steve L.,
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles aren't expecting to unveil a new president of baseball operations today. So let's delve into your questions about the state of the O's instead.
The silence regarding the front office speaks volumes. Other clubs are filling their holes, and we are just waiting around. Why?
-- Steve L., Towson, Md.
That's one way to look at it. I don't know a lot regarding the status of filing the president slot. Ownership wanted it quiet, and it certainly is, especially when you consider an organization like the Mets that was incredibly open about who was interviewing and even providing quotes from candidates.
• Submit your question to the Inbox
Being quiet about things has its benefits, but one of the drawbacks is no one knows what's going on. Are they close? Have they entered a final round of interviews? You'd have to think, since they can't make any other front-office hires before they name a president, that time would be of the essence over the next week or so. While I noted there's not a lot going on right now, you certainly need a president and general manager in place before next month's Winter Meetings.
Who is making the decision right now on wavier claims and international signings?
-- Steve, Elmira, N.Y.
Brian Graham, director of player development, is serving as interim general manager. Graham, along with input from other front-office holdovers and approval from ownership, is the one who is getting things done. Obviously, this isn't ideal, but it's also not the time of year that clubs make huge moves anyhow. It's mostly housekeeping items and smaller contractual stuff.
Who do you think the contenders are for GM role? I would like to see the club be bold with their decisions for GM and the manager.
-- Wayne, Perth, Australia
It's impossible to handicap the GM job until they name a president. But I do think they'd be smart to look for a younger GM-type who analytics savvy, which is the direction a lot of baseball front offices have gone. I think of a young Theo Epstein type as a perfect fit in Baltimore.
The Orioles' opening payroll was $100 million less than the World Series champs Red Sox. Will the O's owner spend more than last year?
--Harp D., Cumberland, Md.
Boston's Opening Day payroll was high, but there wasn't a $100 million discrepancy to start the season. Baltimore was right in the middle money-wise to start the year among baseball's 30 teams. You know who was dead last? Playoff-bound Oakland. Milwaukee, which reached the National League Championship Series, and the 90-win Rays were also in the bottom five. The O's finished as the worst team in baseball, so if it was really just about the money, what about all the other teams under them that finished much better?
Quite frankly, money is a tired argument. The Orioles have proven they will spend money. Right now, it would be foolish to pump money into the Major League roster. They'd be much better served putting money into scouting, analytics and the farm system so that -- if that all improves -- they have plenty of budget in a few years if they're in a position to contend. So, no, they won't spend more money this year. The payroll was already significantly reduced with all of the midseason trades, and it will continue to be pared down as they eye the future.
The Orioles may never be able to outspend the Yankees or Red Sox, and they have to be smarter, because they don't have the same margin for error as those clubs. The Yanks or Red Sox can spend around a bad long-term contract (see Jacoby Ellsbury), but the kind of deal the O's gave Chris Davis really hurts a team like Baltimore that is capable of carrying a higher payroll, but only if all of it is going toward helping the team win for the duration of the deal.
What kind of role do you see a guy like Jace Peterson have? I thought he could be a guy maybe as Buck Showalter would say.
-- Jake F., Columbia, Md.
Peterson, along with left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin, elected free agency earlier on Thursday. They were among four players outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. Corban Joseph and Gabriel Ynoa were the other two, as they agreed to terms on Minor League contracts.
Peterson was versatile, and he and Gilmartin were among the better performers on last year's club. I'd think the O's would want to bring them back, but they're both free to explore other options now.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.