Friday, April 03, 2015

Your 2015 Giants: Extensions and/or Promotions for Sabean, Bochy, Evans, and Shelley

As reported by various media sources (CNSBA, Extra Baggs, sfgiants.com, Chronicle), Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy, Bobby Evans, and Jeremy Shelley were either extended or promoted or both today.  I'll collate the info and add a few of my thoughts, below.


Bobby Evans, New Giants GM

First off, congrats to the new GM, Bobby Evans.  He's been building up to this promotion for years of good work now, and frequently in recent years he was the face of the Giants front office.  Many of the signings of our players have been handled and announced by him in the past few years.  He has spent 21 seasons with the Giants, with 2015 being his 22nd.

However, there is not a lot yet that changes with his duties.   Things had already been getting complicated for years, so he's been more or less involved in a lot of the GM duties already, and it sounds like they will have him ease into trading players and other duties that he will eventually take on as GM.

So, starting off, he will take over day-to-day management of the baseball operations.  This will free up Sabean to focus on a more long-term view of the team, taking a strategic view of the long-term future of the team.  I assume he's been doing this already anyway, but the shift is that now he can devote himself to that full-time, while Evans takes care of the day-to-day stuff.  Essentially, in corporate-speak, Evans is the new COO while Sabean is the CEO/Chairman of the Board.

Brian Sabean, Executive VP of Baseball Operations

Congrats to Sabean to his contract extension to 2019 and promotion to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.  Following the trend that other (high revenue) teams have been doing (Boston, LA, Chicago Cubs), the Giants bifurcated the duties into two parts (as I noted above, basically CEO/Chairman of the Board and COO, for baseball operations).  The Giants described his duties as: “managing all aspects of the Giants’ baseball department, including the immediate and long-term development of the major and minor league systems and the team’s growing scouting and international operations.”

Sabean was the longest-tenured GM in the game until this promotion (obviously, Bobby is the new GM). The Giants have been to the playoffs 7 times with Sabean as GM, winning 3 of the 4 times they had been to the World Series.  Sabean’s Giants have a winning percentage of .534, which works out to a 86.5 wins per season average.  That is the third best team record since Sabean was promoted to GM in 1996.

Here is the Chron's exclusive interview with Sabean regarding what this means for his job:
“It gets me out and about more. I know the shop’s being tendered to. Boch, in his own right, could almost be like Whitey Herzog as a de facto general manager. And Bobby’s more than ready. It’s his turn to shine. Now I don’t have to be married, per se, to the major-league schedule. The international schedule is moving fast. I don’t see enough of our minor-league teams to draw my own conclusions. I hardly see any games before the June draft, which I used to do. Selfishly, I’d like to see some guys who could be in play trade-wise and free agents to be. This allows me to be more places. The quality control with this model, and other people have gone to it, is important now. The game’s changing so fast. It’s so competitive, and it all evolves around the talent acquisition.”

Sabean acknowledged the possible opening of the Cuban market is part of the mix.

“Yeah, and the possibility of an international draft,” Sabean said. “We have to find out if we’re set up for it. I want to know firsthand what our standing is in scouting against the rest of baseball. This will give me a way firsthand to evaluate that.”
It is amazing how these guys memorize all these statements.  If you look at the pre-deal announcement that Haft provided, the media accounts, and then I listened to the actual video feed of them talking (thanks to CSNBA), everything is almost word for word the same.  Wow!

In any case, it basically sounds like this will free up Sabean to do more of what he loves to do, which is scouting.  He will be freed to go see amateurs as well as prospects, as well as opposing players they are interested in, either in trade or free-agency.  He can do more of the international scouting as well.  Basically, he can now explore certain things in greater detail than he could before when he was GM in charge of day-to-day operations.  He is free to pursue his passions as well as make long-term strategic decisions regarding how the baseball operations will function.

One thing I found interesting was international scouting being mentioned because the Giants have hired a number of people to handle international scouting over the years, and we have not really signed many guys yet from Cuba, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan, which many other teams have done.  And we have had a number of big Latin America busts in Villalona and RafRod (though I still have some hope for them; we'll see how Cabrera turns out, he's still young).  And overall, not a lot of production from Latin America, Feliz and Sandoval are our big hits so far, nobody else.  So if there is any area of player development that needs to be fixed on the Giants, international is the area that Sabean should focus on.

Bruce Bochy, Contract Extension

His was the easiest to announce:  his contract was extended an additional three years, out to 2019, in lockstep once again with Sabean.  Very well deserved reward for all the great work he has done for us.  Thus the two will likely get to preside over the team for the rest of the 2010 Decade, a situation that warms my heart greatly.

The interesting factoid is that, should he make it to the end of his contract (not to be morbid, but he did have a heart issue this spring, and a family history of heart problems, so he might need to resign due to health issues at some point), he will become the longest-tenured manager in San Francisco Giants history and the second longest in franchise history to the legendary New York Giants manager John McGraw, whom he won't pass as he was manager for 31 seasons (hired at end of 1902 season and his last season was 1932).  Still, 13 years (assuming he's still managing in 2019) is still pretty good for any manager.

Jeremy Shelley, VP, Assistant GM

Congrats to Shelley for his promotion to Vice President, Assistant GM, pro scouting and player evaluation.  As noted with Evans, I would guess that immediately, his duties will not change much from what he had been doing before, which was overseeing the pro scouting and player evaluation at the major league and minor league levels.  Probably similar again to Evans, his duties will expand and evolve as he learns his new job.

He basically takes Evans' old title and position, joining John Barr and Dick Tidrow as Assistant GM. He will continue, as noted, to provide support in statistical analysis, amateur scouting and international operations.  Now, in addition, he will work closely with Evans in the day-to-day operation and basically become the new Bobby Evans, in my viewpoint.  He has also been with the Giants for 22 years now, filling a number of roles relatively anonymously until now (and still, he didn't get to be in the press conference, I would note).

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