The Athletics announced this afternoon that they have promoted general manager Billy Beane to the role of executive vice president of baseball operations. Additionally, David Forst has been promoted from assistant general manager to the role of general manager, thus filling Beane’s previous title. The moves were not unexpected, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported them to be likely back in early August.
By making this pair of promotions, the A’s gravitate toward the increasingly popular dual executive model — specifically, a president of baseball operations and a GM working beneath him — that is employed by the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Marlins, Giants and others.
Beane has been the Athletics’ top baseball decision-maker since 1998, whereas Forst has been with the organization in a variety of capacities (first as a scout) since 2000. The promotion ensures that Forst, for the time being, won’t seek other general manager vacancies elsewhere, as he’s now been promoted to the same role within the Oakland ranks. Forst has been mentioned as a GM-in-the-making previously, as has fellow AGM Dan Kantrovitz. The A’s lost one of their top assistants last offseason when Farhan Zaidi joined the Dodgers’ front office to serve as GM under president Andrew Friedman.
The 53-year-old Beane has a reputation as one of the game’s most aggressive GMs and has taken his fair share of heat recently due to last offseason’s trade of potential AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the team’s subsequent last-place finish in the AL West. He’s also, however, navigated the Athletics to eight playoff berths since taking over in ’98 despite notorious payroll constraints that limit his ability to retain star-caliber players and aggressively pursue upper-echelon free agents.
Beane and Forst further bolstered the Oakland farm system this summer by trading Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard for minor league talent, and they’ll look to re-tool the Oakland roster this offseason in an effort to return to postseason play for what would be the fourth time in a five-year span.