Orioles Top Executive Takes Home Prestigious Award, Having Led Baltimore to AL East Title Despite $71M Payroll

Published 11/08/2023, 9:10 AM EST

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2023 was a peculiar season for several reasons. While many iconic teams like the Yankees failed to live up to expectations, it also saw underdogs create an unprecedented impact. The Baltimore Orioles were among the latter. In what was an incredible season, The Os showed up and surpassed the expectations of fans and critics alike as they ended the season with an enviable 101-61 record. With that, they also reached their first playoffs since 2016. Although they suffered a disappointing Division Series loss against eventual champions, the Texas Rangers, they had a lot of positives to take from this season on to the next.

Among the positives, one would be General Manager Mike Elias. The 40-year-old Yale graduate was at the forefront as the architect of this team. He ensured his team ended up with the best record in the American League, and now he has something to show for it.

Recognition for Elias


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As per the latest reports, Baltimore general manager Mike Elias has been awarded the title of MLB Executive of the Year 2023. It was awarded in recognition of the Orioles’ significant achievements in the past year and Elias’s crucial role in them. The award was granted by his peers by account voting among the 30 franchises before the start of the 2023 postseason.

Elias took over the Orioles’ management back in 2018 when Baltimore was coming off an utterly disappointing 47-115 season record. He demonstrated exceptional clarity and was instrumental in making key decisions. That included hiring manager Brandon Hyde and developing the Orioles’ foundational farm system. In addition, he also oversaw the drafting of players like Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and Jackson Holliday into their ranks, which strengthened the team.


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His patient, yet effective, approach to rebuilding their team had its initial hiccups. But soon enough, it started showing results as the Os went from a 52-win 2021 season to an 83-win 2022 season and surpassed a hundred this time around. And he did all of that with a paltry $71 million payroll, the second lowest in the league. Within a few years, he led one of the most remarkable turns of fortune for any team and thus became a consideration for this award. Getting this honor brings the former Yale Bulldogs pitcher into the company of some giants of the game.


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The significance of the award

Within a short time, the award has earned a reputation as being a sought-after honor for those who have helped their team through thick and thin. Many high-profile individuals have been recipients. It began in 2018 with Oakland’s Billy Beane, followed by Tampa Bay’s Eric Neander in 2019. Thereafter, big names like LA Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and his San Francisco Giants counterpart Farhan Zaidi were bestowed this honor in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Last year, in 2022, Cleveland President Chris Antonetti received this honor.

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The recognition shows the role Elias played in his team’s fortunes. With a successful last season, the Orioles will start afresh and will have the confidence to take bold steps in their preparation for the next. They would want to ensure they repeat a similar feat and perhaps go past ALDS the next season around.

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Paaritosh Dutt is an author for Major League Baseball at EssentiallySports. He had always been intrigued by American culture, particularly its television shows. As the years went by, his interest in American culture only grew, and he began to follow American sports more closely.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva