The Detroit Tigers have named Scott Harris as President of Baseball Operations as the team takes a new approach in the search for success following a disastrous MLB season.
A Track Record of Success
Harris replaces Al Avila, who was fired as vice president and general manager in August, and the 35-year-old is now tasked with ensuring that the necessary improvements are made to the roster. Harris has an impressive pedigree, and the Tigers will be hoping he can recreate the success he had at the Chicago Cubs, where, in 2016, as assistant general manager and protégé of Theo Epstein, he contributed to the creation of the roster which won the first World Series title for the club in 108 years.
He subsequently joined the San Francisco Giants and performed impressive work under Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations. So, despite his young years, he has over ten years of experience in MLB. The Tigers will be hoping that his fresh approach will take the club in a new direction. Harris will be responsible for player recruitment, and he certainly has the credentials and the vision to help attract the right players to the club. His bold approach and new perspective could be just what the Tigers need after years in the doldrums.
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Taking Calculated Risks
Harris has already given the media a taste of what to expect from his bold approach. He was eager to stress that being risk averse is not an option for the Tigers. It would be essential to take calculated risks in order to reduce the gap between the Tigers and other MLB clubs. As Harris described the plan to make moves with confidence and conviction, he was clearly alluding to personnel changes in terms of players. But there will also be changes behind the scenes as another task in Harris’ inbox will be to hire a general manager.
Harris is viewed as a versatile operator with a skill set that includes scouting, the development of players, and game analysis, and these attributes could be just what the Tigers need as they try to get the best out of the expensive signings Javier Báez and Eduardo Rodríguez.
Learning from the Best
As the Tigers sit at the bottom of the table below the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central standings, another question remaining is whether Christopher Ilitch will relinquish control and give Harris a free hand. That remains to be seen, but Ilitch, the chairman, and CEO of the Tigers, was at pains to praise the work of Harris: “His leadership ability is polished from both his experience as an executive at multiple levels and mentorship from some of the game’s most talented baseball operations leaders.”
Pundits agree that the hiring of Scott Harris is just the move needed to get the club back on track. Harris certainly has the wherewithal to succeed, and although he has a lot of work ahead of him to turn the Tigers into contenders, he may spring a surprise in coming seasons.