Last year, the Orioles set a franchise record with 115 losses.
This year hasn't been much better: They have the worst record in baseball – 41-88 entering this weekend.
And with Friday's purge of 11 members of the team's scouting and front office departments, change is afoot. In a big way.
“We’re in a period of change right now with the industry, and we’re in a period of change right now with the Orioles,” first-year Orioles general manager Mike Elias said, per The Baltimore Sun.
Among those let go were baseball operations director Tripp Norton, and, according to the Sun, scouts Dean Albany, Jim Howard, John Gillette and Nathan Showalter.
“This is sports," Elias said. "Changes happen frequently, especially when you’re in a situation where the team has been losing, and it’s kind of what we all get into when we get into this business, but we are trying to make changes to the way that the organization conducts business in a lot of ways to adapt to the competitive environment that we’re in.
“Sometimes, to make changes, you’ve got to make changes."
The Orioles will remain committed to scouting, Elias said.
“We will continue to pro scout and do so heavily,” Elias said, per the Sun. “We expect to have a lot of new blood come in and bolster our staff. It's very possible that by the end of our hiring cycle, the overall baseball operations headcount is higher than when I came here.”
Elias became the team's executive vice president and GM in November 2018, coming to Baltimore from the Astros' front office. The Astros were a 100-loss team when the franchise reshaped its front office and put more emphasis on sabermetrics. Elias was part of the group brought in to turn around the franchise. Four seasons after its third straight 100-loss year, the Astros won the World Series. They are on pace to finish with 100 wins for the third straight season.
MORE: Orioles' Chris Davis explains confrontation with manager Brandon Hyde: 'I hit a breaking point' | Orioles allow MLB record 259th HR of season: 5 fun facts | Orioles' Brandon Hyde on Yankees star Gleyber Torres: 'We're making him look like a first-ballot Hall of Famer'
“There are changes going on in the scouting business in terms of greater availability of information in general, video and data,” Elias said, per the Sun. “It just changes the way that scouts do their job.
"I'm a scout by trade ... so I have as much appreciation for what they do, what they offer, how they go about their jobs as anyone. And it's not a profession that's going away. But it is changing. It's been changing for 70 years, 80 years. The information landscape changes. The player landscape changes, and we need to adapt with that.”