Guardians announce series of promotions and hirings across baseball operations

January 11th, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Guardians and President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti today announced several promotions and hiring’s within the club’s Baseball Operations Department:


Matt Forman, Executive Vice President & Assistant General Manager

Forman will enter 2022 in his 10th season with Cleveland and his sixth as Assistant GM. His tenure with the club began in 2013 as an intern in Baseball Operations. In his new role as Executive Vice President, Forman’s responsibilities will expand to assist Antonetti and General Manager Mike Chernoff with co-management of the entire scope of Baseball Operations**.**

Eric Binder, Assistant General Manager

Binder, who was hired in 2013, recently completed his ninth season with the club after most recently serving as Vice President of Baseball Operations. Binder joined the organization after graduating from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and playing professionally for parts of two seasons. In his new role, Binder will expand his responsibilities across Baseball Operations, while continuing to lead the organization’s pitching efforts and supporting the Major League field staff with strategic planning and activities.

James Harris, Assistant General Manager

The 2022 season will be Harris’ sixth with the organization after previous stints as both Vice President and Director of Player Development. Before transitioning to a career in baseball, Harris, who earned a master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, served as the Philadelphia Eagles’ and University of Oregon’s Football Chief of Staff under Chip Kelly. In his new role, Harris will provide macro-level leadership of the Player Development system along with the Major and Minor League Performance areas. James will assist in all facets of Baseball Operations, including player and staff procurement and development, along with player personnel decisions at the Major and Minor League levels.

Paul Gillispie, Senior Vice President, Scouting

Gillispie, who has spent the entirety of his 16-season professional baseball career with Cleveland, has held several leadership roles within the club’s scouting departments, including Vice President of International Scouting, Director of Professional Scouting, and Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting. In his new role, Gillispie will provide executive leadership of both the Amateur and International Scouting departments while also co-leading the club’s player evaluation and professional scouting process scouts with Victor Wang.

Lonnie Soloff, Senior Vice President, Medical Services

Soloff, who initially joined the organization while serving as the club’s Major League Head Athletic Trainer from 2004-2013, will continue leading Medical Services pertaining to physical development, performance enhancement, and injury prevention throughout the organization at both the Major League and Minor League levels. Soloff’s new role will additionally include leadership of the club’s Sport Science and Sport Psychology and Mental Performance departments.

Victor Wang, Senior Vice President, Player Acquisitions

Wang first started with Cleveland as an intern in Baseball Operations in 2009, and since then, he has filled several managerial roles within the club’s scouting and acquisition departments, including Director of Professional Scouting and most recently Vice President of Player Acquisitions. Moving forward, Wang’s reach will extend across all player acquisition avenues while providing decision processes and frameworks across the organization.

Alex Eckelman, Vice President, Hitting

Eckelman enters his 13th season with the Guardians in 2022. Eckelman, who played collegiately at The Ohio State University and then professionally for parts of nine seasons, served as the club’s Major League Advance Scouting Coordinator for six years before transitioning into roles within Player Development, including most recently as the team’s Director of Hitting Development. Eckelman will lead Cleveland’s hitting development and performance throughout the organization, including the Major and Minor Leagues.

Alex Merberg, Vice President, Baseball Operations – Development

Merberg, who played collegiately and graduated from Tufts University in 2015, just completed his seventh season with Cleveland. Merberg initially joined the organization as an intern and has served a variety of roles within the club’s Baseball Operations department. As Vice President of Baseball Operations, Merberg will guide the organization’s efforts to provide evidence-based coaching support and resources, player assessments, and analysis throughout the organization, including the Major Leagues, Minor Leagues and in scouting.


Andrew Bahnert, Director, Physical Development

Bahnert, who spent parts of 10 years working with Australian rules football clubs, joined the Guardians in 2019. As Director of Physical Development, Bahnert will lead the Minor League Strength & Conditioning group and nutrition program.

Rob Cerfolio, Director, Player Development

Cerfolio started in 2015 with Cleveland after graduating from Yale University, where he played baseball. Cerfolio, who previously filled roles with the club in both Player Development and Amateur Scouting, will now assume the day-to-day leadership of the Minor League system.

Richard Conway, Director, International Scouting

The 2022 season will be Conway’s seventh with the club. Conway, a Toronto native who earned a master’s degree in Business Administration and Sport Management from UMass-Amherst, will lead the club’s International Scouting staff and process.

Nate Freiman, Director, Hitting Development.

Freiman played professionally for parts of nine seasons, including two in the Major Leagues with the Oakland Athletics, before transitioning to Cleveland’s front office in 2019. As Director of Hitting Development, Freiman will guide Minor League hitters’ development and support hitting coaches and coordinators throughout the Player Development system.

Chris Gale, Director, Player Evaluations

Gale, who spent five years with the Baltimore Orioles, four as an area scout, before being hired by Cleveland, has filled roles with the Guardians as a Professional Scout, International Crosschecker and most recently as Assistant Director of International Scouting. Now as Director of Player Evaluations, Gale will lead the player evaluations group by coordinating the club’s scouting coverage across all scouting arenas.

Sam Giller, Director, Baseball Operations – Technology

Giller has been with Cleveland since the 2017 season after prior internships with the Los Angeles Angels and Major League Baseball’s Labor Relations department along with four years as a consultant for Charles River Associates. Giller will drive the club’s innovation in Baseball Technology, including Major League Video Operations and Technology Assistant/Fellow program, while also continuing to provide broad support throughout Baseball Operations.

Will Landess, Director, Baseball Operations – Systems

Landess will enter his fifth season with Cleveland in 2022. Prior to joining the Guardians, Landess worked as a consultant for Bain & Company for parts of six years. Landess, who earned an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, will help lead the club’s Baseball Systems Development staff, while continuing to provide broad support throughout Baseball Operations.

Clint Longenecker, Director, Player Acquisitions

Longenecker spent the last seven seasons helping lead the club’s efforts in Amateur Scouting. Prior to joining the Guardians, Longenecker led _Baseball America_’s draft coverage. In his new role, Longenecker’s contributions will stretch across each of the player acquisition spheres to influence player acquisitions decisions in the amateur, pro, and international spaces.

Stephen Osterer, Director, Pitching Development

Hired by the Guardians in the 2019 offseason as Pitching Resource Coordinator. Prior to being hired by Cleveland, he co-founded a private facility in Toronto after a collegiate pitching career at Cornell University. Later he earned a Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Moving forward, Osterer will lead the Guardians’ Minor League pitchers’ development and support the organization’s Pitching Coaches and Coordinators throughout the PD system.

Kevin Tenenbaum, Director, Research and Development

Tenenbaum, who was hired from the Baltimore Orioles in 2017, has spent the last four seasons as the club’s Assistant Director of Research & Development. As Director, Tenenbaum will expand his day-to-day leadership of the R&D department, with a focus on staff mentorship and recruitment and on departmental management. 


Dr. Lindsay Shaw, Director of Sport Psychology

After consulting for the club in 2021, Shaw will now oversee the Sport Psychology and Mental Performance programs. Prior to joining the Guardians, Shaw was a Senior Sport Psychophysiologist at the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for nine years. Shaw has a Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston University.

Jono Freeston, Director of Sport Science

Freeston has worked alongside Major League Strength & Conditioning Coach Joe Kessler and Soloff as a Sport Scientist consultant since 2017. Freeston, who has a Ph.D. in Sports and Exercise from the University of Sydney where he also was a Senior Lecturer, will lead the club’s newly created Sports Science department.