Thursday, February 6, 2020

Manfred Lists MLB Staff Moves, Torre Takes Step Back

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a series of changes in his office, including Joe Torre's transition from Chief Baseball Officer to another post, and several promotions.

Old & New Jobs
Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre is now Special Assistant to the Commissioner. Manfred said, of Torre's move, "I am pleased that Joe will remain a valuable resource to us, as he has been for the last decade."

Gil's Call: This means MLB has effectively eliminated the Chief Baseball Officer position, for now, as Torre transitions into a more hands-off, and presumably part-time, role. It's no secret that Torre and Manfred have taken different public positions on the electronic ball/strike issue (Manfred: Wants automated strike zone technology in MLB; Torre: Doesn't see it happening), and Torre's move toward the office fringe paves the way for Manfred to take a more aggressive approach to getting what he wants.
Related PostCiting Atlantic Lg, Manfred Ready for Robo-Zone (8/19/19).

Senior Vice President of Economics & Operations Morgan Sword is now Exective VP.
Torre and Manfred spoke about the E-Zone.
Gil's Call: An employee of baseball labor relations origin—similar to Manfred—Sword may be best known as the "120 Plan" mastermind, according to the NY Daily News. For those unfamiliar, the 120 Plan refers to MLB's effort to renegotiate its deal with, or if no deal occurs, constrict, Minor League Baseball and eliminate several markets.

VP of On-field Operations, Initiatives & Strategy Chris Young is now Senior VP.
Gil's Call: The former MLB pitcher joined the MLB office in 2018 under Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre and Senior VP Peter Woodfork. In his new role, Young will oversee the On-Field Operations and Umpiring Department, reporting to Deputy Commisioner Dan Halem. Torre previously oversaw baseball operations. Not named? Young's former supervisor and report-to, Peter Woodfork. Woodfork had been a candidate for the then-vacant Astros GM position and previously had umpiring oversight responsibilities in the league office.
Related PostMLB Hires Former Player Chris Young as On-Field VP (5/10/18).

MLB also hired former players Gregor Blanco and Nick Hundley as Senior Directors, Baseball Ops.
Gil's Call: Both ex-players will report to Young and, amongst others, serve as liaison to MLB clubs, players, and umpires. They will assist Young in crafting on-field discipline and "provide insights regarding on-field rules, initiatives, technology, instant replay, and other topics."

Not listed anywhere in MLB's press release? Umpires.

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