- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2020

Baltimore Orioles general manager and executive vice president Mike Elias and director of pitching Chris Holt were named in a New York Daily News report linking them with a potential case of pension fraud.

According to the Daily News, an agreement between MLB owners and the Players Association allows four coaches to be included in a club’s pension plan. There are rules involved, though, including a necessity to officially work with the major league team — and that’s the sticking point for Holt.

Holt worked mostly from the club’s alternate training site in Bowie, Maryland. He was not listed as a coach for the Orioles, and he didn’t have a uniform number, according to the report.

The Orioles did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.

Elias joined Baltimore in 2018 after working for the Houston Astros in a variety of roles since 2011. After joining the Orioles, Elias hired Holt away from Houston. While both were with the Astros organization during the team’s run to the 2017 World Series championship — a run aided by electronic sign-stealing exposed later — neither were implicated in the cheating scandal.

The pension plan offers medical benefits and life insurance, but also includes licensing checks from merchandise sales, among other things. The checks usually average between $40,000 and $60,000, according to the Daily News.

It remains to be seen if any repercussions come from the potential pension fraud case. A six-person MLB board will decide if Elias intentionally circumvented pension rules to include Holt.

The Orioles listed eight coaches on their major league staff this year. The Daily News reports that the other three coaches rightly included on the pension plan were major league field coordinator Tim Cossins, hitting coach Don Long and third base coach Jose Flores. The other five coaches, meanwhile, did not receive pensions.

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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