Brandon Hyde Reportedly Agrees to Contract to Become New Orioles Manager

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06:  Brandon Hyde #16 of the Chicago Cubs stands in the dugout before the game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles have reportedly agreed to a deal with Brandon Hyde to make Hyde their next manager, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday.

Hyde was a member of the Chicago Cubs's coaching staff, working as their bench coach in 2014 and 2018, with a stint as first base coach in between.

According to MASN's Roch Kubatko and MLB.com's Joe Trezza, Orioles general manager Mike Elias denied the team had made a final decision regarding its managerial vacancy:

Roch Kubatko @masnRoch

Elias said no decision made on manager, no offer made and probably no hire here. Called report on Hyde, shown on TV in suite, “premature” #orioles

Joe Trezza @JoeTrezz

Mike Elias wouldn’t comment, when asked directly, if he’d met with Hyde today. When asked if any offer had been made, to anyone: “No.” Elias also said he didn’t expect to name a manager by the end of the week. Most of this while staring at a TV that said the O’s now have one.

MLB Network's Jim Duquette and the New York Post's Joel Sherman provided their thoughts on the possible selection of Hyde:

Jim Duquette @Jim_Duquette

Love the Brandon Hyde hire in Baltimore - he has the player development background and major league coaching experience to guide the O’s in their next phase. Understands analytics too

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

Hyde is known for strong communication skills and diverse resume: farm director, base coach, bench coach, interim big league manager, minor league manager. #Orioles

Hyde would inherit a massive rebuilding job in Baltimore. The Orioles finished with the worst record in MLB in 2018 (47-115), and they traded away almost all of their best players this past season. Adam Jones is one of the franchise's few holdovers from its last playoff appearance in 2016, and he's a free agent this offseason as well.

Compounding matters, the Orioles don't have a wealth of talented young prospects coming through the minor league pipeline. Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter ranked Baltimore's farm system 18th in September.

Whether the Orioles ultimately hire the 45-year-old Hyde or not, targeting a young, relatively unproven manager makes sense. The team is years away from playoff contention, so Hyde would have a long leash. He'd also have an opportunity to experiment with new strategic approaches while facing little pressure from ownership to win early on.