By Mark Viviano

SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — Rebuilding the Orioles is a hard job, but Mike Elias is happy to be doing it.

Entering the third year of the rebuild project, fans want to know how long it will be until the team is competitive again. Elias can’t answer with certainty, but he is certain significant progress is being made.

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The Orioles will likely lose more games than they will win in 2021, looking at what would be a fifth consecutive losing season. That streak started before Elias was hired; he inherited an organization in decline that needed a top to bottom rebuild.

That process takes years and is tough for all involved, especially the fans.

“People are impatient in terms they don’t want to watch their favorite team lose like we have been, me either,” Elias said. “And it’s not something that I could ever ask someone to embrace and it’s not something we ever want to go through again, but this is the position we found ourselves in when we started this project.”

The project has included a foundational change in how the Orioles utilize the international draft and how they apply advanced technology to player development, two areas in which the team woefully lagged being the rest of the league.

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Elias has changed that, and the results are showing.

“We’ve got one of the best farm systems in baseball now,” he said.” I don’t think this franchise has ever been able to say that. And we have a lot of young talent on the big league team, so we’ve got to let these guys continue to play and continue to get better and continue to come together. We’re looking for core pieces as we go and they’re starting to fall in place.”

Elias is a young general manager who is accumulating young talent in an effort to relaunch an era of extended success for the O’s. The 38-year-old embraces the challenge.

“It’s very stimulating every day,” he said. “It’s very exciting. It’s very difficult work and there are a lot of tough thing that you have to do and tough days when you’re in this position, but I can’t believe that I have this opportunity. I’m very fortunate.”

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