Frank Catalanotto retires

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It’s not exactly major news, but Frank Catalanotto has announced his retirement.

When last we heard from him he was being designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Chris Carter after 25 dismal games last spring. But before that Catalanotto was the kind of player it was hard not to root for.  He played everywhere — left, right, first base, second base and third base — he got on base at a really darn healthy clip, hit left handed and was never terribly expensive.  Not quite good enough to demand a set place in the lineup 160 games a year but far better than your average platoon or utility guy, Catalanotto was totally the kind of complementary player who could help out a championship team.

Of course he never actually played on a championship team, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there was that guys with Catalanotto’s skills are kind of fun to have around, and it’s quite remarkable when they hang in the game for as long as Catalanotto actually did.

Enjoy retirement, Frank!

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.