With the announcement of Mike Chernoff interviewing with the New York Mets, who could be the next General Manager of the Cleveland Indians?
The news of Mike Chernoff being set to interview with the New York Mets should come with little surprise to fans of the Cleveland Indians. Being from New Jersey, a job with the Mets might be as close to home as Chernoff will find in Major League Baseball. But should Chernoff head for New York, who could take over the reigns of the front office for the Cleveland Indians?
The Indians have created a rather clear line of succession through their organization that has produced front office talent at almost the same rate as they have starting pitching.
Mark Shapiro began his time in Cleveland in 1991, working his way through the ranks before being named General Manager in 2001. Being named the Executive of the Year in both 2005 and 2007, Shapiro was promoted at the end of the 2010 season to team president before leaving in August of 2015 to become the Toronto Blue Jays’ president and CEO.
Following Shapiro’s lead, Chris Antonetti followed suit, taking over the GM role when Shapiro was promoted and then again becoming the team president when Shapiro went to Toronto. Antonetti came to Cleveland in 1999 after a year with the Montreal Expos. Becoming the general manager at the end of the 2010 season, he followed a similar 10-year plan that Shapiro also had.
That brings us to current Cleveland Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff. Beginning as an intern out of college, Chernoff worked his way up to being the GM in 2015, however, he doesn’t have the next step open the way Shapiro and Antonetti did, which is why he’s interviewing with the Mets.
So following the path that the last three Cleveland Indians general managers followed, who’s next? All three worked their way up the ranks, working in player development or operations in some way, then assistant general manager, then general manager.
The Cleveland Indians currently have three assistant general managers and all three have the opportunity to become the next general manager should Chernoff go to the Mets. Those three are Carter Hawkins, Matt Forman and Sky Andrecheck.
Hawkins and Forman were both promoted to their current roles following the 2016 World Series run when Derek Falvey was hired by the Minnesota Twins. Both Hawkins and Forman had previously served in the director of baseball operations role. As assistant GMs, Hawkins still oversaw player development, whereas Forman dealt more with scouting and acquisitions. Hawkins joined the Tribe in 2008 as a scouting intern while Forman joined in 2012 working as an intern in baseball operations and amateur scouting.
Sky Andrecheck was just recently promoted to assistant general manager following the 2019 season in a move to keep him in Cleveland rather than seeing another team scoop him up. Having been with the Cleveland Indians since 2010, Andrecheck has spent majority of his time with the club working in the team’s research and development, focusing on analytics. Prior to joining the Tribe, Andrecheck was a blogger for various platforms, including The Baseball Analysts and Sports Illustrated.
Given the background and experience of the three candidates, it seems that Hawkins or Forman would be the next in line to step up. Both have served as the assistant GM for four seasons, so it could come down to what the Indians’ brass wants out of their general manager. Hawkins has spent more time on the development side while Forman’s experience came in scouting.
Either way, it can be assumed that the Cleveland Indians will be in good hands if Chernoff heads to the Mets. Antonetti should still be at the helm of the organization and those that could be in waiting have been around the organization for the better part of the last decade at least.
Each of the three assistant general managers have played a key role in the club’s success, and will continue to do so no matter who gets the job. They all have a unique skill set that could almost warrant a “Co-General Manager” arrangement of sorts.
This will be a key offseason for the Cleveland Indians and the general manager could be one of many changes to come to the Tribe. Regardless, similar to when Antonetti was promoted or Chernoff, the Indians shouldn’t miss a beat if a change comes in the front office.