Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias on Tuesday denied he'd selected Chicago Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde as his new manager, declaring "very clearly it's a premature report" as news of the hire flashed across MLBNetwork on a muted television in his suite during a media briefing.
“I haven't looked at the specifics of the exact wording of this report, but certainly, the type of … [laughs] the type of report you're referring to is premature,” Elias said.
Hyde, 45, was in his second stint as Cubs bench coach, this time under manager Joe Maddon. He was the first base coach when Chicago won the World Series in 2016, and rose to bench coach for the 2018 season after Dave Martinez left that role to become the Washington Nationals manager. Hyde served as Rick Renteria’s bench coach in Chicago in 2014 before Maddon was hired. He previously served as Cubs player development director (2012-13) and minor league infield coordinator (2012).
The former Chicago White Sox minor leaguer’s first job in a major league dugout came in 2010, when the then-Florida Marlins fired manager Fredi González and several members of his staff at midseason. Hyde was in his first year as the minor league infield coordinator for the Marlins after parts of two years as a minor league hitting coach and five seasons as a minor league manager in that organization before he jumped to the big league staff.
A source confirmed Hyde’s hiring to the Chicago Tribune, after the New York Post and The Athletic were the first to report. It came less than a week after the Cubs formally announced him as part of their 2019 coaching staff.
The reported selection comes at the end of a protracted process after Elias was hired in mid-November. It left the Orioles in the rare position of attending this week's winter meetings looking for a manager.
Team officials have not confirmed Hyde's selection, though Elias had the chance to do so when he met with reporters Tuesday evening in his suite. Earlier in the media session, Elias said he hadn’t narrowed the six-candidate pool down to one, and hadn’t even crossed possible candidates from his list. He said he was "closer in the sense that I continue to work on this hire," but that he would not anticipate it being completed by the time the winter meetings ended Thursday. He reiterated that after Hyde’s selection was addressed as premature.