SF Giants make GM decision

Pete Putila
Pete Putila / Bob Levey/GettyImages

Just a few weeks ago, the SF Giants front office had an important role open up as General Manager Scott Harris was hired by the Detroit Tigers to be their new president of baseball operations.

In a recent press conference, Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi made the comment that he was hoping to hire a replacement for Harris "relatively quickly," with it "likely" that he make the hire before November's general manager meetings.

Clearly, "quickly" was the key word in those statements.

Monday evening - just days after Zaidi's comments - the Giants announced that they had hired Pete Putila from the Houston Astros to be their new GM.

Putila was in his third year as Houston's Assistant GM and had been with the Astros for over a decade in multiple roles, according to San Francisco's press release about the hiring.

Just 33, the Pennsylvania native and West Virginia University graduate comes from one of the top organizations in baseball, as the Astros have made the postseason all but one year since 2015 - a stretch that includes the 2017 World Series championship and Fall Classic losses in 2019 and 2021. Houston has continually proven their ability to produce players from the minor leagues, with Jeremy Pena filling in well this year at shortstop after Carlos Correa left in free agency and multiple pitchers continuing to make a difference for the Astros.

Minor league development - especially getting players to make a difference for the Major League club - has been a problem for the Giants since they won their three World Championships in five years. In the press release, Zaidi said that Putila would be a "tremendous asset" in helping the farm system get to a place to sustain the big-league club.

Putila has served in a variety of roles

Putila started with Houston as a baseball operations intern in 2011 and was hired full-time late that year. By 2016 he was the director of player development - the title current Giants field manager Gabe Kapler held with the Los Angeles Dodgers before he left to manage the Philadelphia Phillies - and in multiple roles he helped grow the use of technology and combine it with traditional scouting.

Putila's hiring comes just in time for the Giants' front office to evaluate potential free agent signings such as Aaron Judge and Trea Turner as the club looks to bounce back from an underwhelming 81-81 record in 2022.