The Tigers made their most significant front office hire of the offseason yesterday, appointing former Giants general manager Scott Harris as president of baseball operations. At a press conference this afternoon, Harris told reporters (including Tony Paul of the Detroit News and Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press) that he would be looking for his new GM who could serve as chief lieutenant in baseball operations. I told you.
“These jobs are getting bigger and more complexsaid Harris. “Every year they are getting more complicated. It is very important to have another bright and talented person to partner with in these jobs.Bring more talented people to this front office and ultimately field a better team. I think it gives you an edge by being able to make decisions that you can send to. That’s what we’re trying to do, and I think GM will be a big part of that.“
Harris himself has held the role for the past three years, working as San Francisco’s GM under baseball operations president Farhan Zaidi. The Tigers gave him both a promoted title, a common occurrence in front-office hiring, and the opportunity to lead an organization for the first time, as teams often refuse to interview employees for side jobs. He’s now looking for someone to work in the point role he’s held for Zaidi the past few seasons in the Bay Area.
Last summer, former GM Al Avila promoted both Sam Menzin and Jay Sartori to assistant general managers. This makes them both potential candidates for a bump to GM if the club stays inside. It is that I directed the baseball business of. Harris didn’t name either, but said he’s considering internal executives if they fit the criteria he wants. We’re guessing, which isn’t surprising considering McLeod worked with Harris in the Cubs’ front office before Harris flew to San Francisco.
There’s no concrete timeline for GM’s hiring, but the heavy lifting in the Detroit front office isn’t over just yet. Harris will have final decision-making authority regardless of who is ultimately tabbed. One of his key early calls is to select a second-in-command.