Expected changes in Indians front office as Antonetti assumes new role; Chernoff moves to GM
A few weeks ago, the news surfaced that the Cleveland Indians could have a mini “shake-up” in the front office. That materialized today as Chris Antonetti was promoted to president of baseball operations, while assistant GM Mike Chernoff moved up to general manager. Derek Falvey was promoted from director of baseball operations to assistant GM. All of this was the trickle down of Mark Shapiro leaving for Toronto after 24 seasons with the Tribe.
The team says business operations will not change as Paul Dolan will assume Shapiro’s responsibilities. This structure of the Indians will mimic that of several other teams, one of note being the Chicago Cubs. Theo Epstein is often referenced as the GM, but actually holds the same title that Antonetti now does, with Jed Hoyer the Cubs actual GM.
The changes aren’t likely going to impact the Indians in a drastic fashion as all three are “company men” and have been with the Indians. Any speculation as to Terry Francona‘s status as the Indians’ manager going forward should cease.
These moves were expected, and the direction of the team next year will only be altered by the results of the team this season and not the philosophy of new front office personnel. For the second straight season, a slow start followed by a strong finish both came up short for postseason baseball. The team has depth in the farm system, but not necessarily top tier talent like Francisco Lindor who made his splash this season.
With pitching depth and some core pieces already in place, the “new” front office will need to be better with assessing free agent talent and avoid these “bust” signings that have become all too common in Cleveland the past few seasons. With those terrible deals cleared out, the youth in place as well as a foundation of veteran players, they have the opportunity to push the Indians over the top and make this team a contender.
But that’s never a guarantee to happen.