Five base­ball ops staffers are let go

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

While con­tracts for many of the Ori­oles’ on-field and off-field base­ball op­er­a­tions staff ex­pire at the end of the month, some in­side the or­ga­ni­za­tion saw a com­mon thread among those in­formed Fri­day that they wouldn’t be brought back for 2019.

All five who were told Fri­day that their con­tracts won’t be re­newed had pre­vi­ous con­nec­tions to for­mer ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Dan Du­quette. They were Triple-A man­ager Ron John­son, East Coast scout­ing su­per­vi­sor Kirk Fredriks­son, di­rec­tor of Do­mini­can base­ball op­er­a­tions Nel­son Nor­man, spe­cial as­sis­tant Matt Haas and area scout Dana Du­quette — Du­quette’s son.

With a full-scale re­build ex­pected as the team searches for a new base­ball op­er­a­tions chief, the staff re­al­izes change is in­evitable. The sense is that those who aren’t let go be­tween now and the end of their con­tracts will re­turn in 2019, and those de­ci­sions won’t go past Wed­nes­day.

But the con­nec­tion to Du­quette stands out among Fri­day’s dis­missals.

John­son, who has man­aged Nor­folk since the 2012 sea­son, won the Ori­oles’ Cal Rip­ken Sr. Player De­vel­op­ment Award in 2018. He was a man­ager in the Bos­ton Red Sox sys­tem when Du­quette was the gen­eral man­ager there.

Fredriks­son was con­nected to Du­quette through the New Eng­land Col­le­giate Base­ball League be­fore each joined the Ori­oles. He signed play­ers such as Trey Mancini and Ryan McKenna be­fore tak­ing on a su­per­vi­sory role on re­cent high picks DL Hall, Austin Hays and oth­ers. McKenna, Hall and Hays are among the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s top 10 prospects, ac­cord­ing to Base­ball Amer­ica.

Haas worked for Du­quette in Bos­ton be­fore be­ing hired by the Ori­oles as a na­tional cross­checker in 2012. Nor­man, a for­mer big lea­guer, worked with Du­quette with the Mon­treal Ex­pos and Red Sox be­fore he was hired in 2013, and Dana Du­quette has been with the Ori­oles as a North­east scout since 2015.

Dan Du­quette and man­ager Buck Showal­ter were in­formed by the or­ga­ni­za­tion that it was mov­ing in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion Oct. 3.

Though the Ori­oles ex­pect most offfield per­son­nel de­ci­sions to be made by the time con­tracts ex­pire next week, the ex­ist­ing deals be­come at-will un­less they’re acted upon be­fore the ex­pi­ra­tion date.

Fri­day could have just been the start of a se­ries of changes in per­son­nel, with di­rec­tor of player de­vel­op­ment Brian Gra­ham run­ning op­er­a­tions on a day-to­day ba­sis as in­terim gen­eral man­ager, un­til new hires are made. But staff is still re­quired for things such as mi­nor league and ma­jor league free agency as well as 40-man ros­ter ad­di­tions.

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