Don Buford was given the title of assistant director of player development, scouting director Gary Nickels signed a four-year contract extension and his assistant Fred Uhlman Jr. received a two-year deal, the Orioles announced yesterday.
"I've only been here 48 hours, but I can tell you already they've done a fine job scouting here," new player development director Syd Thrift said. "They've got a lot of good athletes with speed. They've got the ingredients it takes to become champions. I looked at the reports of five different center fielders who are prospects. Five!"
Buford, a coach on fired manager Johnny Oates' staff last season, will serve as assistant director, joining a department that was being run solely by Lee MacPhail after Doug Melvin's exodus to the Texas Rangers.
"I know the baseball side of it, I just have to get acclimated to the paper work and some of the terminologies used in the office," Buford said.
Buford, a member of the Orioles' Hall of Fame, also has played for the team, managed in the minor leagues and served as a minor-league field coordinator.
MacPhail, whose grandfather was the farm director of the New York Yankees when Thrift signed his first professional contract, also will play an integral role under Thrift.