Inbox: Who's on list to lead O's into new era?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers questions from fans

October 16th, 2018
Members of the Baltimore Orioles embrace after closing out a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 4-0. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Patrick Semansky/AP

Any word on the manager and general manager search?
-- Scott L., White Marsh, Md.

It's been fairly quiet on the front-office front, and you can expect the search will start from the top. The new general manager will have a say in who manages, and the coaching staff and other smaller hires trickle down from there. What's interesting to me is how many names have leaked out for other front-office jobs -- such as the Mets -- but you haven't heard anything out of Baltimore. This could be because they're still compiling a list, want to interview people who are involved in teams still playing or are just really good at keeping secrets. (Doubtful on that last one as these things always have a way of getting out.) Regardless, I'd be surprised if there isn't some movement in the next week. Yes, it's a big hire. But the Orioles can't afford to go into the offseason without a plan in place.
:: Submit a question to the Orioles Inbox ::
What are the chances the Orioles will sign Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa?
-- Carlos V., Dundalk, Md.

Similar to the GM/manager search, not a whole lot has leaked in regard to how serious a pursuit the Orioles are planning. We know they had a small contingent on hand recently in Miami to watch outfielders Victor Victor Mesa -- the top-ranked international prospect by MLB Pipeline -- Victor Mesa Jr. and pitcher Sandy Gaston. We know the Orioles and the Marlins are the top two landing spots, as they're the two clubs with the most international bonus pool money still available.
The front-office situation doesn't really come into play here. The Orioles have interim GM Brian Graham and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson is still in his current role. They have people who can make decisions and deals can still be made. (The one that always springs to mind is the O's claiming off waivers before they hired Dan Duquette.) The sides have talked. I'm sure numbers have been exchanged. But there's no timetable and no way to handicap if the O's will secure Mesa, his brother or Gaston. But it would be a heck of a way to open a long offseason.
I know it's a rebuild, but will the Orioles do anything exciting in free agency? Add a veteran starting pitcher, maybe?
-- Joe L., Reading, Pa.

Depends on what you deem exciting. Obviously the O's shed a lot of payroll in all of the in-season trades. And they will save even more by hiring a manager who won't command the $3 million or so that Buck Showalter did. The Orioles will add a few relievers, maybe a starter or two. But the real issue has to be the infield. Will Baltimore look for a few cheap defensive-minded players? You have to consider in a rebuild how important it is to develop some of the younger pitchers. Guys have to be able to make the plays, and the Orioles' defense was awful last year. I'm more interested in what the O's will do there than if they add a starter.
What are the chances of bringing back any of their free agents?
-- Sara H., Dumfries, Va.

Slim. The Orioles traded players like Manny Machado, Zach Britton and in-season, because they didn't factor into the team's future plans. Machado is way out of the O's price range, and as for the other two, a rebuilding team doesn't need to spend its resources nailing down a back end of the bullpen.
Outfielder is the most interesting case, as I don't think anyone knows what that market will look like. I'd expect the 33-year-old will want a multiyear deal, but free agency hasn't been kind to older position players in recent offseasons. I could see a scenario in which Jones' market isn't there and the Orioles bring him back as a veteran on a shorter deal. It's not out of the question. But there are a lot of bridges to pass before that becomes even a possibility.