5:57PM: The Cubs have also promoted Ryan Otero to be the team’s new director of pitching, The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports. Otero has worked in the Cubs’ player development and research & development departments since 2018, and he worked as the assistant director of pitching last season under Breslow.
4:15PM: The Cubs have hired Jason Kanzler as their new director of player development, according to reporter Michael Schwab (X link). Kanzler will move to the front office from the dugout, as he has been a member of the Astros coaching staff for the last three seasons.
Jared Banner had previously worked as Chicago’s VP of player development, yet with Banner now promoted to the assistant GM role, it seems as if the Cubs are shuffling some responsibilities within their office. The farm director duties will now be overseen by the 33-year-old Kanzler, who just wrapped up his minor league playing career in 2015.
After three seasons in the Twins’ farm system, Kanzler became a teacher, while also keeping his foot in the door of a baseball career by working as an assistant coach in the Cape Cod League. This led to a job as a minor league hitting coach and coordinator with the Astros beginning prior to the 2019 season, and then a promotion to the big league staff prior to the 2022 campaign. Kanzler worked as a Major League coach in that first season, and then received a more distinct title of assistant hitting coach in 2023.