After another disappointing season, the Detroit Tigers dismissed longtime general manager Al Avila in August. However, the search is over as Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Monday that the Tigers have hired SF Giants general manager Scott Harris as their next president of baseball operations.
SF Giants general manager hired away by the Detroit Tigers
This move will represent a promotion for the 36-year-old front office executive. The New York Mets had expressed interest in Harris last offseason to fill a front office vacancy, but he withdrew his name from consideration in what became an odd trend in the Mets' front office search.
He will have his hands full as the Tigers look to turn around an organization that has struggled mightily in recent seasons. Detroit's last winning season came in 2016 and the Tigers have posted a sub-.400 winning percentage in five of the last six seasons.
In the early 2010's, the Tigers had been one of the better teams in the American League behind an abundance of talent including Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and J.D. Martinez. However, they were never able to get over the hump and that was due in part to Pablo Sandoval and the Giants' 2012 World Series run.
As what typically happens with competitive teams, the farm system dries up while veterans either regress due to age or depart via free agency. The Tigers attempted to replace some of that talent in recent seasons by signing Jordan Zimmerman (five years, $110 million) in 2015 as well as Eduardo Rodríguez (five years, $77 million) and Javier Báez (six years, $140 million) in 2021 but each of these deals have fallen flat.
The Giants lured Scott Harris away from the Chicago Cubs after the 2019 season to serve as the team's general manager. He worked as an assistant general manager for the Cubs beginning in 2018 and departed at the end of 2019.
It has been a meteoric rise to the top for the front office executive. He joins a Tigers organization that is seemingly motivated to turn the tide and spend in free agency. The Giants will have a hole to fill in the front office and I pitched an idea but I have a feeling that they will go younger in their search.