Baltimore Orioles general manager Mike Elias announced that 11 members of the team's scouting department and front office were fired Friday as part of the organization's effort to rebuild.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Elias met with the media for eight minutes on Friday and confirmed that baseball operations director Tripp Norton was among those let go. The report also indicated that scouts Dean Albany, Jim Howard, John Gillette and Nathan Showalter, the son of former Orioles manager Buck Showalter, were among those fired, according to an industry source.
"We're in a period of change right now with the industry, and we're in a period of change right now with the Orioles," Elias said. "This is sports. Changes happen frequently, especially when you're in a situation where the team has been losing, and it's kind of what we all get into when we get into this business, but we are trying to make changes to the way that the organization conducts business in a lot of ways to adapt to the competitive environment that we're in.
"Sometimes, to make changes, you've got to make changes. It's difficult. It's the worst part of my job or anyone in my position's job, but these are really good men who had a lot of really good contributions to the organization, and we'll help them land on their feet."
Elias added, "There are changes going on in the scouting business in terms of greater availability of information in general, video and data. It just changes the way that scouts do their job. There are instances where we will replace people's roles kind of man for man, head for head, spot for spot, but there's other instances where we're reconfiguring the way the scouts go about their business."
Elias indicated that the moves were made now not only to give those who were fired ample opportunity to look for work, but also to give the organization a jumpstart on retooling its staffing.
"We are reconfiguring quite a bit. We're going to be very busy bringing people into this organization," he said. "This is just the organization moving along and adapting to the sport today."
Elias joined the Orioles last November following a 2018 season in which they finished 47-115, the second-worst record in franchise history. Only the 1939 team, then the St. Louis Browns, was worse at 43-111. This year, Baltimore was 41-87 entering play Friday, ahead of only the 38-87 Detroit Tigers.