Giants hire assistant GM, manager may be next

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The San Francisco Giants haven’t hired Bruce Bochy’s replacement yet, but they did make a high-profile addition to their front office on Sunday.

The Giants hired Chicago Cubs assistant general manager Scott Harris to serve as the team’s general manager under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring in an executive of Scott’s caliber to help lead our Baseball Operations group” Zaidi said in a team release. “The combination of his breadth of experience, contributions towards building a championship-winning perennial contender in Chicago, and his Bay Area roots made him an ideal fit for our general manager position and I’m looking forward to executing our vision together.”

Harris, a native of Redwood City, began his career with the Cubs in 2012 when he was hired as the team’s director of baseball operations at 25. During his tenure in Chicago, Harris worked for one of the most well-respected executives in baseball, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.

“I am so appreciative and honored to join the San Francisco Giants, a storied franchise with a loyal, passionate and deserving fan base,” Harris said in a team release. “I’m humbled by the opportunity to help bring the next World Championship to Giants fans and to San Francisco, a city that has always held a special place in my heart. I’m excited to get to work with Farhan, our baseball operations staff and the rest of the Giants family.”

In his role as Chicago’s assistant general manager, Harris was credited with overseeing the Cubs’ research and development department, the salary arbitration process and all baseball operations’ financial strategy and planning.

Harris’ hire comes more than a year after Zaidi was introduced as the team’s president of baseball operations, a position that gives him oversight over the Giants’ front office. Zaidi expressed interest in hiring a general manager last offseason, but instead chose to wait until after completing his first season with the club because he did not feel there was adequate time to perform an exhaustive search last winter.

Harris will work in a front office that includes several other executives hired by Zaidi including director of pro scouting Zack Minasian and director of amateur scouting Michael Holmes, who were both hired last December.

Current Oakland A’s assistant general manager and Bay Area native Billy Owens, a former colleague of Zaidi’s, was long believed to be the front-runner to become the Giants’ general manager, but Harris emerged as the team’s choice on Sunday. Aside from Owens, the Giants reportedly interviewed Astros farm director Pete Putila and Pirates interim general manager Kevan Graves for the position.

Harris graduated UCLA and also earned a MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in 2015. His first jobs in baseball included internships with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals as well as a position with MLB’s league office.

The decision to hire Harris comes as Zaidi and the Giants are closing in on naming Bochy’s replacement as the team’s field manager. Bochy elected to step away from the Giants after his 13th season with the club and San Francisco is still considering three candidates to succeed him.

The Giants could have another major announcement within the next week as Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler are all finalists to be named the team’s next field manager.

Both Zaidi and Harris are expected to represent the Giants at MLB’s general manager meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona. this week. Harris will be officially introduced in a press conference on Monday at Oracle Park.

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