The Orioles began the reshuffling of their front office Monday by announcing they would not renew the contract of scouting director Tony DeMacio, who has been with the organization since 1998.

"We all bear the responsibility of making the organization better," Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Jim Beattie said. "Sometimes you have to make changes like this."

Since 1999, only one of Baltimore's nine first-round picks has played with the team. But Beattie said that was not a reason for not bringing back DeMacio.

"No one has a crystal ball," Beattie said. "You make your best bet."

Beattie said it is too early to list any candidates and said no timetable exists for hiring a replacement, though he expected to move quickly. Several of the team's other front-office positions, including director of minor league operations, held by Doc Rodgers, will be evaluated after the season.

Loss of Rights

The Orioles were recently told by baseball officials that they had lost all negotiating rights with first-round pick Wade Townsend. Several weeks ago, Townsend, a junior, returned to Rice University but renounced his eligibility, hoping he would be allowed to sign.

"As far as they are concerned, the rights went out the window when he went back to class," Beattie said.

Townsend, the eighth overall pick this year, will be allowed to reenter the draft next year. Former Rice teammate Philip Humber, an unsigned first-round pick by the Mets, said Townsend was only a few credits away from his degree.

"When he weighed his options, I don't think he cost himself that much money by going back to school," Humber said. "No matter what, he was going back to school whether he signed with them or not. He followed through with it. Hopefully, it works out."

The Orioles will be given a compensation pick, between the first and second round, in next year's draft.