On Monday, the Detroit Tigers announced a new president of baseball operations, hiring former San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris. He replaced outgoing CEO Al Avila, who was sacked last month after managing the Detroit club from 2016 to 2022.
Under Ávila, the Tigers posted a .415 winning percentage after a 10-year period when they had a .533 winning percentage. This was partly expected since Avila took responsibility for the demolition portion of the renovation, but very few executives get five-plus years to complete a major overhaul without getting close to .500 at some point.
Ávila’s reign saw plenty of high picks and hyped prospects, but now outfielder Riley Greene and left-hander Tariq Skubal are the crown jewels, with pretty much every other player in the question mark.
Harris has solid experience working directly under Farhan Zaidi in San Francisco and Theo Epstein, former president of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Harris, 36, who has held only office positions in the past, looks more like a CEO than an intelligence and evaluation man, which should help him cope with his tasks in Detroit.
I’ll explain what reasonable steps should be for Harris as he delves into his new role.