Orioles general manager Mike Elias and director of pitching Chris Holt are being investigated for “potential pension fraud," according to a report from the New York Daily News,
Elias arrived in Baltimore in 2018 from Houston and Holt was brought in as the team’s minor league pitching coordinator.
The investigation is based around Elias’ decision to give Holt benefits he was likely not eligible for, according to the Daily News. Under a joint agreement by the MLB owners and Players’ Association, only four coaches can be designated by a particular organization for the pension plan and licensing money. Elias designated Holt as one of the coaches in the organization to be placed on the plan, even though he was not officially listed as a coach for the Orioles and spent most of his time working at the minor league complex in Bowie, Maryland.
Pension plan benefits include “lucrative” medical benefits and life insurance, as well as a players’ licensing check of merchandise. Those checks average $40,000-$60,000 per season.
The other three coaches included on the pension plan, according to the Daily News, were field coordinator Tim Cossins, hitting coach Don Long and third base coach Jose Flores. Flores and pitching coach Doug Brocail were informed they wouldn’t be back for the 2021 season, according to The Baltimore Sun Holt is a potential candidate to replace Brocail.
The Daily News wrote that, if Elias knew the pension rules and passed him through anyway, that could constitute pension fraud. They also reported that a six-member MLB pension board will determine Elias’ role.
Later Saturday night, the Baltimore Sun reported that Major League Baseball described the alleged investigation as "simply false."
The Orioles have not commented on the report as of this writing.