OAKLAND, California. Billy Bean, longtime chief executive, is stepping down from the day-to-day operations of the Oakland Athletics to become a senior advisor to owner John Fisher.
David Forst head of baseball operations while retaining the title of general manager.
“It’s really just like me taking on a new role, but also David taking on the responsibility he deserves as one of the probably top executives in the game, in my opinion really,” Bean said on a conference call on Friday. “The great thing is, as I’ve said in the past, I’m still part of the athletics family. I am very grateful to John and the relationship we have developed since he became the owner.”
The Fives are aiming to build a new stadium in Oakland, and Bean will help with that, as well as strategic work in other broad areas. He may also continue to pursue non-baseball interests such as ownership stakes in professional football clubs overseas and even the cricket team in India.
“Billy was and always will be an athlete. He is my trusted advisor and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him on strategic initiatives that impact our club,” Fischer said. “This owner-level position allows Billy to pursue other non-baseball sports interests while continuing to play an important role with me and the first graders.”
Forst would lead the top five after 102 losses in manager Mark Kotsay’s first year.
“Personally, I owe a lot to Billy. I tend to think sports and industry are too,” Forst said. “I just think so much has changed about who’s been in baseball in the last 20+ years, what he’s been directly involved with, how the game is judged, how we see things.”
The 2011 film Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt as Bean, focused on the 2002 release of low-budget fives and an exciting 20-game winning streak. Oakland ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs. The film was adapted from the 2003 best-selling book by Michael Lewis, which details Bean’s unconventional methods and management style in running a baseball club.
The A’s continued to trade their best players, unable to sign their best free agents due to their financial constraints.
“There’s no denying the impact Moneyball and Billy’s high profile has had on the way we operate in baseball today and how the game is viewed,” Forst said.
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Infielder Kevin Newman to Cincinnati in exchange for relief pitcher Dauri Moreta.
The deal came late Friday night, just after the Pirates offered Newman, their longest-serving player, a contract for the 2023 season.
Newman, 29, hit .274 with two home runs and 24 RBIs in 78 games for Pittsburgh in 2022. Newman became expendable after the introduction of the shortstop. Oneil Cruzwho replaced Newman as a starter last season.
Newman, selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2015 draft, has a .260 career hitter.
Moreta, 26, went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 35 games for Cincinnati last season. The right-hander from the Dominican Republic had 39 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings of the job.