The Pirates are hiring Sarah Gelles to be an assistant general manager, per a report from Eno Sarris and Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic. Since 2019, she had been working for the Astros as director of research and development.
Not too long before the report of the hiring, Sarris had published an article at The Athletic which highlighted rising stars in the world of baseball, including coaches, front office personnel and analysts. Gelles was the first name on the list. “She received the most votes from our pool,” the piece says, “and those came from rival executives, analysts who have worked with her, and independent contractors who saw the value in her work.”
Joining the Pirates is a full-circle move for Gelles, as she began her career as an intern with the Bucs, per Sarris. A profile from Brian Murphy at MLB.com highlights that she then worked for the Orioles from 2011 to 2018, first as coordinator of baseball analytics and then as director of baseball analytics. As mentioned, she then went to the Astros in 2019 to be director of R&D for that club.
That decade-plus of front office experience has now led to a promotion in Pittsburgh, working in the front office of general manager Ben Cherington. Since the Pirates don’t run huge payrolls, analytics figure to be important to the club’s future as they look to find talent via the draft, international signings and in transactions with other clubs.