The steps Detroit’s new exec should follow to fix the Tigers
The Detroit Tigers announced a new president of baseball operations on Monday, hiring former San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris. He replaced outgoing GM Al Avila, who was fired last month after presiding in Detroit from 2016 to 2022.
Under Avila, the Tigers posted a .415 winning percentage, following a 10-year period where they had a .533 winning percentage. Part of this was expected, as Avila took over during the teardown portion of a rebuild, but very few executives got five-plus years to execute a turnaround without getting particularly close to .500 at any point.
There were a lot of high draft picks and hyped prospects throughout Avila’s reign but the crown jewels now are outfielder Riley Greene and left-hander Tarik Skubal, with basically every other player a question mark.
Harris has a solid background with stints working directly under Farhan Zaidi in San Francisco and Theo Epstein, the former president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. As a 36-year-old with only office-based titles in his past, Harris is seen more as a CEO type than a scouting-evaluation type, which should help tackle his tasks in Detroit.
I’ll lay out what should be some smart steps going forward for Harris as he digs into his new role.