The Giants will have a new face representing them at the General Managers Meetings this week.
President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi announced Sunday that the Giants have hired Cubs executive Scott Harris as their general manager. Harris, a Redwood City, Calif., native, will work under Zaidi and be formally introduced during a press conference at Oracle Park on Monday at 11 a.m. PT.
Harris joins the Giants after seven years with the Cubs, where he had served as the assistant general manager for the last two seasons. He emerged as a top lieutenant to Cubs president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, assisting in potential player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations. He was also tasked with overseeing the research and development department, salary arbitration process, baseball operations’ financial strategy and planning, and the high-performance department.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring in an executive of Scott’s caliber to help lead our baseball operations group,” Zaidi said in a statement. “The combination of his breadth of experience, contributions towards building a championship-winning, perennial contender in Chicago and his Bay Area roots made him an ideal fit for our general manager position, and I’m looking forward to executing our vision together.”
Zaidi did not hire a GM last year after being tapped to lead the Giants’ baseball operations department, but he said in September that he planned to interview candidates to work under him like he did with Andrew Friedman during his tenure with the Dodgers.
“I think it shows the evolution of front offices and how sophisticated and at times complex and involved running a baseball operations department is,” Zaidi said last month. “I don't necessarily view it as a fixed division of labor, where my job is going to be to handle these few things and the general manager is going to handle these others. It's really about just sharing the load of managing the overall operation.
“I think by not defining it specifically, it opens up the candidate pool, whether it's somebody that has experience and expertise in scouting or player development or administration. Whatever their strengths are, hopefully we can complement each other and work well, increasing our overall management bandwidth of the operation, which is I think what we really need at this point.”
Harris began his tenure with the Cubs in 2012 as director of player operations, a position he held for five seasons. His experience prior to that included working for the Nationals, Reds and as coordinator of Major League operations for Major League Baseball. Harris has an economics degree from UCLA and an MBA from Northwestern.
“I am so appreciative and honored to join the San Francisco Giants, a storied franchise with a loyal, passionate and deserving fan base,” Harris said in a statement. “I’m humbled by the opportunity to help bring the next world championship to Giants fans and San Francisco, a city that has always held a special place in my heart. I’m excited to get to work with Farhan, our baseball operations staff and the rest of the Giants family.”
In addition to Harris, the Giants interviewed Pirates assistant general manager Kevan Graves and Astros director of player development Pete Putila for their opening in the front office.
The GM search was held concurrently to the club’s managerial search, which remains ongoing. The Giants have reportedly narrowed the field to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, though no decision has been announced on that front.
While the Giants don’t feel the need to adhere to a certain timeline in naming their next manager, the start of the GM Meetings, which will run from Monday to Thursday at the Omni Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., likely helped expedite Harris’ hire.