Brady Anderson is likely the next Baltimore Orioles General Manager, but his history of trying to save players’ careers and contract negotiations show that he may not be able to separate his personal feelings from baseball operations decisions.
It was clear from the numerous interviews in Sarasota of newly signed Andrew Cashner that Brady Anderson played a big part the negotiations to sign the veteran right-hander. The former Orioles legend has played a role before with the talks and signings of Darren O’Day and Mark Trumbo.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote an article for Fox Sports almost a year ago about Brady’s role with the Baltimore Orioles – how he answered only to Peter Angelos and was quite close with both Angelos and his son Lou.
With that relationship came trust, and it was evident with trust came power because Anderson was apparently able to wield his influence on the Orioles front office.
There are four concerning scenarios surrounding Brady Anderson regarding his interactions and negotiations with Orioles players. I will discuss each one and how it relates to Anderson as the next possible Orioles GM.
1. Mike Wright, SP/RP
Rosenthal stated the exits of both pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti were in part due to Anderson’s interference – specifically around pitcher Mike Wright, who trained with Anderson in California.
He also said Anderson disagreed with Wallace and Chiti’s instruction to help Wright and wound up driving a wedge between the player and coaches as instead, he agreed with what Wright wanted to do.
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Anderson was also emphatic to Rosenthal about Wright’s value to the club and how he felt about those changes Wallace and Chiti suggested:
"“When you change movement patterns in an elite athlete – an elite athlete, not a 12- or 13-year-old . . . certainly Mike Wright is an elite athlete. Suggestions are good, but the athlete has to believe what he’s doing is right,” Anderson said."
Now I think most Baltimore Orioles fans would not say Wright is “elite” by any means as his career ERA in Baltimore is 5.86 but I also believe that since the Orioles are paying his salary, they can also tell him how to pitch, especially if it would make him more productive. It’s not they were talking about changing somebody like Mike Mussina, yet Anderson sided with Wright.
I know he’s out of options and the Orioles don’t have a lot of starting pitching depth, whether it’s good or bad. However, I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Orioles haven’t shifted Wright to a reliever role, where he’d likely excel having to focus on fewer pitches for a shorter period and have a chance to help the club in the bullpen.
Instead, they are going to look at him as a starting pitcher this spring once again after he’s proven he can’t do it at the major league level in three seasons.
Wright also worked out once again with Brady Anderson in California again this offseason and with the Vice President of Baseball Operations seemingly still in his corner, Wright’s relationship with Anderson will likely continue to pay dividends at the team’s expense.