After a 47-115 season in which they shipped out franchise star Manny Machado and finished 61.1 games out of first place, the Baltimore Orioles have decided that it is time to shake things up.
Following the season, Baltimore released manager Buck Showalter and vice-president/general manager Dan Duquette, who had been with their organization since 2010 and 2011, respectively.
With that, the Orioles will begin their search for new leadership in their management offices. According to The Athletic‘s Dan Connelly (courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors), Philadelphia Phillies’ assistant general manager Ned Rice is under consideration for a front office role in Baltimore.
Rice is one of three assistant general managers the Phillies have on their staff. The other two are Scott Proefrock and Bryan Minniti.
Rice came to Philadelphia in 2016 after having spent 11 years in Baltimore, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported at the time. He was the Orioles director of Major League administration during those years. Rice obviously has those previous connections in Baltimore in his favor, having spent more than a decade there. According to Zolecki, some of Rice’s tasks with the Phillies are salary arbitration, roster management, and contract negotiations.
Rice also had connections with the Phillies when he earned the assistant GM job. Both general manager Matt Klentak and president Andy MacPhail spent time in Baltimore in the past.
Rice was also familiar with Proefrock, as Proefrock had served as Baltimore’s director of baseball administration from 2006-2008. Zolecki mentioned that Rice’s name came up for a possible Phillies role as MacPhail was discussing sabermetrics in June of 2016.
Rice is just the latest of a number of present and former members of the Phillies organization that have been reported as candidates for open positions with other teams this off-season.
Current third base coach Dusty Wathan interviewed for the Texas Rangers manager position and is still currently under consideration there. The Cincinnati Reds hired David Bell, a former Phillies player, for their manager opening.
As FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported, players information coordinator Sam Fuld made a “strong impression” for the Toronto Blue Jay’s managerial position before Fuld withdrew his name from consideration. Fancred‘s Jon Heyman had reported back in October that Phillies bench coach Rob Thomson was also linked to that Blue Jays job.
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