Graham filling in as O's narrow front-office picks

November 7th, 2018

BALTIMORE -- As Orioles ownership continues to conduct interviews to fill out the front office -- namely the top two positions -- interim general manager Brian Graham is representing Baltimore in Carlsbad, Calif., at this week's General Managers Meetings.

"It's not tricky," Graham told about navigating an organization without the direction that comes from a president of baseball operations or a GM. "I have a responsibility, and I feel good about it. I feel good about the idea that we are organized, and we are going to be able to present the new GM with a lot of information so they can hit the ground running. I'm comfortable with where we're at with being organized and just having a good handle on the free-agent situation. … I feel good about where we are."

Graham isn't a part of the hiring process that will select the heir apparent to Dan Duquette, as that's largely been the responsibility of John and Lou Angelos, sons of managing partner Peter Angelos, in Baltimore. While names linked to the O's have begun to trickle out, it's worth noting that the club still intends to hire two people for the front office to work with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.

As reported, Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias is in the mix, and former Orioles official and current Phillies assistant GM Ned Rice, Detroit's assistant GM David Chadd and former Pirates assistant GM Tyrone Brooks are reportedly under consideration as well. It's important to note none of those four has experience in a president-type role, though they may all be considered once the O's name a top guy.

Baltimore initially said that the new external hire will have the ability to make final decisions, and that will include naming a No. 2 as well as other baseball personnel.

There's no definitive timeline for the Orioles, who are the only team in baseball with a front-office opening after the Giants hired Farhan Zaidi from the Dodgers on Tuesday night to serve as president of baseball operations.

Still, it would be a surprise if Baltimore didn't have a staff in place by next month's Winter Meetings, which is typically regarded as the real start of offseason moves.

As for Graham, he's been as active as he can to ensure that when the hiring does occur, it's a smooth transition. The Orioles, who started a rebuild in July, are expected to continue to slash the payroll with hopes of beefing up scouting, analytics and international efforts.

"We've actually been busy," Graham said of his week in Carlsbad thus far. 'We got our free-agent list, we got contracts out to everyone in the organization, we've listened to teams that have talked to us, we've talked to some agents. I feel good with where we're at in terms of being organized."