New GM added to Giants' offseason to-do list after Harris' exit

September 20th, 2022

DENVER -- The Giants will have plenty of holes to fill this offseason following a disappointing 2022 campaign. That includes in the front office, where the club now has a vacancy at the general manager position.

Scott Harris, who was hired to serve as the Giants’ GM under Farhan Zaidi in November 2019, was named the Tigers’ new president of baseball operations on Monday. It’s a big promotion for the 36-year-old Harris, who will now have the opportunity to run his own baseball operations department in Detroit, mirroring the role Zaidi holds in San Francisco.

Harris, a Redwood City, Calif., native who came over from the Cubs, has long been viewed as a rising star throughout the industry and reportedly withdrew his name from consideration for an opportunity to run the Mets last year.

“I’m really happy for Scott,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s not a surprise, right? He was so meaningful for us over the last couple of years. Coming to San Francisco, he already had a strong track record of success in Chicago and was very well thought of across the industry. It surprised no one that there would be teams that would be interested in having Scott lead their baseball ops organization. I’m happy for him and his family. I think they’re going to be happy in Detroit. I think that he’s going to do a tremendous job building that organization. They’re lucky to have him.”

Harris and Kapler were hired within days of each other three years ago and worked closely with Zaidi to form the brain trust that resulted in a franchise-record 107 wins in 2021. Despite his relatively short tenure in San Francisco, Kapler said Harris made his impact felt throughout the organization, from amateur scouting to player development to game strategy.

Harris joined the Giants after seven years with the Cubs, with whom he emerged as a top lieutenant to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, assisting in potential player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations. He was also tasked with overseeing the Giants’ research and development department, salary arbitration process, baseball operations’ financial strategy and planning and the high-performance department.

Prior to working in Chicago’s front office, Harris also spent time with the Nationals and Reds and served as coordinator of Major League operations for Major League Baseball. He has an economics degree from UCLA and an MBA from Northwestern.

In Detroit, Harris will be tasked with guiding the Tigers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, though he’ll inherit a wealth of young talent that includes Petaluma, Calif., native Spencer Torkelson, Casey Mize, Riley Greene and Wilmer Flores, the younger brother of Giants infielder Wilmer Flores.

“This is an exciting day for me and my family, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to lead baseball operations for the Detroit Tigers,” Harris said in a statement. “The Tigers have a rich history and tradition as a charter member of the American League, and I can’t wait to get to work on the next chapter of Tigers baseball. I’d like to thank Chris Ilitch for believing in my vision for this organization and being so accommodating throughout the interview process. I’d also like to thank Greg Johnson, Rob Dean, Farhan Zaidi, Larry Baer and the entire Giants organization for their support over the last three years.”

It’s unclear whether the Giants will look to immediately replace Harris, as Zaidi didn’t bring a GM into the fold until his second season with San Francisco.

A’s assistant GM Billy Owens, Pirates assistant GM Kevan Graves and Astros assistant GM Pete Putila were among the candidates who interviewed for the position that eventually went to Harris three years ago, so they could draw consideration this offseason. Alternatively, the Giants could look to fill the void internally by promoting another one of Zaidi’s lieutenants, such as assistant GM Jeremy Shelley or vice president of pro scouting Zack Minasian.