Mike Elias wore a bright orange tie to his introductory news conference as the new general manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
That color could represent his past success with the Houston Astros and future optimism in Baltimore.
Brothers John and Lou Angelos, both of whom are running the club, made a rare public appearance together and sat between Elias at the news conference. They are confident they hired the best candidate for the daunting task of turning around a club that lost a franchise-record 115 games this past season.
Perhaps most importantly, Elias, 35, will also have the autonomy to hire his staff and make the critical decisions with all baseball matters.
"We couldn't be happier to have Mike Elias come on board to this organization," John Angelos said. "It's a team effort. A team is about hiring the best people and let them do their job."
Elias also feels right at home at Camden Yards. He grew up in Northern Virginia and attended Orioles games as a kid.
As a result, Elias is familiar with the rich history of the franchise. Elias is optimistic the Orioles could be competitive once again in the short term
"We're going to work as fast and as smartly and as hard as possible," Elias said. "We're going to remain focused on the process. We're going to continuously improve the talent base up and down the organization, whether that's at the major league level or the minor league level."
Elias most recently served as the scouting director and assistant GM in Houston. He played a key role rebuilding a club that went from last place to World Series champions in 2017. Elias also worked as a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals beginning in 2007.
He takes over for Dan Duquette, who was not offered a new contract to return as the team's baseball chief after the season. One of the biggest changes fans will immediately see is a bigger commitment to international scouting and analytics -- areas where the Orioles have lagged behind other clubs in recent years.
"The analytics portion of it is something that's not optional in today's game," Elias said. "It's a lot of advanced information. The trick is how you incorporate it into decision making and into baseball practices so that it's not two different approaches going on, but it's one approach that comes out of that. So, there will be a lot of work and a lot of expertise in that area."
Another big challenge for Elias will be hiring a new manager to replace Buck Showalter, who also was not offered a new contract following the team's 47-115 finish. Elias said there is no specific timeline to name a new manager because the stakes are so high to find the best candidate.
"The process and back-work has already begun. I have a lot of contacts around the game and I have certainly already started tapping into those networks," Elias said. "This is an important hire. It's not something to rush for the sake of meeting artificial dates in wintertime. We want to get the right person for our organization, for our front office, for this time. These are thorough processes. But we do not have a specific timeline."
The Orioles parted ways with several key players at the trade deadline, including infielders Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop and pitchers Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman, Darren O'Day and Brad Brach. In return, the franchise was able to stock its minor league affiliates with 15 prospects and international signing bonus slot money.
Elias is confident the new manager will have enough talent to help build a contender. He expressed confidence that struggling first baseman Chris Davis will get back on track and have a successful season.
"There are a lot of good players here," he said. "There are more coming. As a scouting director I'm familiar with a lot of the players in the minor league system. There are some future stars in the system and some really good pitchers. There is more than enough here to work with."