Mike Elias, Baltimore Orioles
Impact: +2.8 games
Division ranking: second
MLB ranking: sixth
If the turnaround in Baltimore proves to be legitimate, we’ll be able to look back and say it began with Elias in 2022.
The Orioles’ chief executive made moves affecting 43 members of a major league roster. Four of those moves injected at least +1.0 games of WAA improvement.
Easily the most notable was the no-brainer decision to promote 2019 No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman to the major league club in mid-May. Rutschman rewarded that sagacity by producing +3.7 WAA for the Orioles, which happened to be the most impactful move made by any AL East exec in 2022 and the fifth-most impactful in all of Major League Baseball.
Not at all coincidentally, he also established himself as Baltimore’s catcher of the future.
Here are the most impactful personnel decisions made by Elias this season.
May 21: Promoted Adley Rutschman, +3.7.
Nov. 30: Signed free agent infielder Rougned Odor, -2.0
Nov. 24: Acquired pitcher Cionel Perez as a waiver claim from the Cincinnati Reds, +1.9.
April 10: Promoted outfielder Felix Bautista from the minor league system, +1.6.
August 1: Traded veteran outfielder Trey Mancini to Houston as part of a three-team swap that also involved Tampa Bay. Mancini produced -1.2 WAA for the Astros.
Due largely to the arrivals of Bautista and Rutschman, Elias’ farm system was the third-most impactful on any major league roster in 2022, trailing only the Braves and Mariners. He ranked fifth in trade impact, but only 26th in free agent impact.