Potential Replacements For Duquette: Profiling Mike Elias & Jason McLeod
Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles announced Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette would not be returning.
Today we start profiling potential replacements.
The first two we will be looking at are Houston Astros’ Assistant General Manager Mike Elias, and Jason McLeod who is the SVP of Player Development, and Scouting for the Chicago Cubs.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Elias is considered one of the brightest young executives in baseball.
“He’s a really sharp guy,” a baseball executive said. “He has a great eye for talent and experience managing people and departments. He understands the major league side of things but also player development and scouting. Like everyone with the Astros, he’s deep into analytics. However, he understands there is a human element to the game, too. He knows that numbers don’t tell you about a player’s demeanor or how he fits into the culture of the clubhouse.”
The 35-year-old Elias joined the Astros in 2012 as a special assistant in the scouting department and played a key role in Houston selecting Carlos Correa with the first overall pick in that’s year amateur draft. Correa is one of nine players from that draft class to reach the major leagues.
Elias was promoted to scouting director in 2013 then became assistant GM in 2016 while be given the additional duties of overseeing the minor league system. He was given his current title last year.
After being a four-year letterwinner as a pitcher at Yale, Elias was hired as an area scout by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007. He became manager of amateur scouting in 2010 before leaving for Houston, where he rejoined Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. Elias worked under Luhnow with the Cardinals.
One baseball executive had this to say about Jason McLeod:
“I think he is ready to be a GM more than any other potential candidate out there,” the executive said. “In fact, I’m quite confident in saying he is more qualified than some guys who are currently sitting in the GM chair. He has everything you could possibly want in a GM from a background standpoint. He’s a very well-rounded baseball man and he is also personable and a very good communicator.”
McLeod has been the Chicago Cubs’ senior vice president of scouting and player development since Nov. 1, 2011. In his first three drafts with the Cubs, McLeod selected center fielder Albert Almora Jr. (2012), third baseman Kris Bryant (2013) and left fielder Kyle Schwarber (2014) in the first round.
McLeod began his front-office career with the San Diego Padres as an intern in baseball operations in 1993 after spending two years as a pitcher in independent minor leagues. He was promoted to a baseball operations assistant in 1994 then held various positions in the organization through 2003 including being a minor league pitching coach, an area scout and the assistant director of scouting and player development.
Prior to the 2004 season, McLeod was hired in the scouting department of the Boston Red Sox and rose to director of amateur scouting in 2006. Among players drafted during McLeod’s time in Boston included Dustin Pedroia, Anthony Rizzo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Josh Bard, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson and Josh Reddick.
He returned to the Padres prior to the 2010 season as assistant general manager, McLeod joined Jed Hoyer, who became the Padres’ GM after serving as assistant GM with the Red Sox.
When Hoyer left for the Cubs to become GM under president of baseball operations Theo Epstein following the 2011 season, McLeod went along, assuming his current role.
McLeod also comes from good baseball bloodlines. He is the great grand nephew of Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell.
John Perrotto has been a professional sports writer since 1982 and has covered a multitude of sports, including MLB, NFL and college football and basketball. He has been a member of the Baseball Writers' Association since 1988, a Hall of Fame voter since 1997 and has covered 21 World Series and two Super Bowls. He is a graduate of Geneva College, the birthplace of college basketball, and lives in Beaver Falls, Pa., the hometown of Joe Willie Namath.
He also writes The Perrotto Report (theperrottoreport.com), newsletters that concentrate on Major League Baseball and the Pittsburgh Pirates.