DENVER -- Dan O'Dowd has relinquished some of the Rockies' hands-on general manager duties to his assistant, Bill Geivett, in a restructuring of the team's baseball decision-making, the club announced Wednesday.
O'Dowd, who took over as GM after the 1999 season and was named The Sporting News General Manager of the Year after the 2009 season, will continue as the club's executive vice president and chief baseball officer. He will also continue to be in charge of contract negotiations and trades, but Geivett will have greater input.
Geivett, who has been with the club since just after the 2000 season and has been in professional baseball for 25 years, has been named senior vice president of Major League operations and will focus strictly on the Major League club. Since January 2011, Geivett's title was senior vice president of scouting and player development and assistant GM. Now he will work with manager Jim Tracy, the staff and the roster, and relinquish scouting responsibilities.
"With his extensive experience in professional baseball both on the field and in the front office, Bill Geivett is the perfect fit for this new position," Rockies owner, chariman and CEO Dick Monfort said in the club's official statement. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our organization, and we feel that Bill's influence and leadership on a daily basis is an important addition to our Major League club."
The moves come amidst what is on pace to become the first 100-loss season in the 20-year history of the franchise, and are the latest of the major changes that have occurred over the past two-plus months.
The Rockies announced on June 19 that they were going to a "paired pitching system," with four starters and three pitchers positioned to take turns relieving the starter, especially in tough situations early in games.
A week later, on June 26, pitching coach Bob Apodaca, who had been in his job for 10 years, asked to be reassigned to another job within the organization. Apodaca was a proponent of the four-man system. O'Dowd said when announcing the move that Apodaca had simply grown tired and needed a break.
Now O'Dowd, who has dealt with public criticism throughout the season, has restructured how the club will be run on a day-to-day basis.
O'Dowd, 52, will focus strictly on player acquisition. Geivett, 49, will work hands-on with Tracy and oversee all aspects of the operation outside of game strategy. Tracy's focus will be on running the club during the game. The restructuring streamlines communication and gives each a focused set of duties.
The move is much like the switch to the paired pitching system, which was designed to handle the challenges that come with pitching at altitude rather than to try to fit tradition. O'Dowd is clearly moving away from the traditional front-office structure.
Last offseason, O'Dowd moved Jeff Bridich from a baseball-operations position involving contracts and player transactions to player-development director. He also shifted former player-development director Marc Gustafson to a scouting position where he can use his perspective to influence the Draft, and changed the responsibilities of several statistical researchers, who have been working on various trends that had arisen over the life of the franchise.
Geivett, 48, a former shortstop in the Angels' system until a knee injury ended his career at the Double-A level in 1988, coached at Loyola Marymount (1989-90) and Long Beach State (1991) before breaking into pro ball as a scout and organizational instructor for the Yankees in 1999.
Geivett also worked for the Montreal Expos, Rays and Dodgers. He was the Dodgers' assistant GM before joining the Rockies. He has an extensive background in player development. He headed the Expos' farm system when it earned Topps Organization of the Year in 1996 and ran the Rockies' farm system when it was named Baseball America Organization of the Year in 2007 -- when 16 of the 25 players on the World Series roster were originally drafted or signed by the club.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb