The Detroit Tigers have hired San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris as the organization’s new president of baseball operations, a source with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press.
Harris, 36, inherits a rebuild that former general manager Al Avila began in 2017. Avila, who spent seven seasons in charge of the Tigers’ baseball operations, was fired Aug. 10 after posting a 404-573 record during his tenure.
The Tigers confirmed Harris’ hire Monday afternoon. A media event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Tiger Club at Comerica Park with Harris and CEO and chairman Christopher Ilitch.
“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.”
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The 2022 season is Harris’ third year as the general manager for the Giants, after he joined San Francisco — led by Farhan Zaidi — in November 2019. Before that, Harris spent seven years working for the Chicago Cubs under president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer. He quickly ascended to assistant general manager, then the Giants hired him.
In 2021, Harris reportedly withdrew his name from consideration for the New York Mets’ president of baseball operations job.
“Throughout this extensive search process, we were determined to find the best person to run our baseball operations,” CEO and chairman Christopher Ilitch said. “Scott’s vision for how to construct a baseball organization to compete and win in the modern game is impressive. His leadership ability is polished from both his experience as an executive at multiple levels and mentorship from some of the game’s most talented baseball operations leaders.
“Scott is a difference maker, innovator and fiercely competitive, always looking for an edge. We’re excited to welcome Scott and his fiancé, Elle, to the Tigers family, and look forward to the bright future of our organization.”
Entering Monday, the Tigers have a 55-91 record and sit in last place of the American League Central.
The Tigers, under Avila, announced the rebuild had ended leading up to the 2022 season. A combination of injuries and underperformance, involving both younger players and veterans, put the Tigers out of contention by the end of the May, though they were officially eliminated from the postseason last week.
“I’m really excited to have Scott Harris join us as President of Baseball Operations,” manager A.J. Hinch said in a statement. “In getting to know him over the last few weeks, what he wants for the future of our team and organization is really inspiring and is something I know our fans will embrace as much as I do. His vision and expectation of winning makes it easy to want to work tirelessly for him. We have a lot of work to do and today is a great step in the right direction on that path.”
Harris grew up in Redwood City, California, and graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a degree in economics. Several league sources were surprised Harris decided to leave his home state. After all, Harris learned from former Giants executive Al Rosen before securing an internship with the Washington Nationals in 2008. He also worked for the Cincinnati Reds in 2009.
Harris attended Columbia Business School and transferred to Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management to complete his MBA in 2015 while working for the Cubs.
This story will be updated.