The Guardians announced 20 new promotions and hirings within the organization, including some prominent new titles for members of the baseball operations department. Assistant general manager Matt Forman was given the additional title of executive VP, essentially placing him under only president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and GM Mike Chernoff on the team’s decision-making pyramid. Eric Binder and James Harris were promoted to assistant GM roles, as the duo joins Sky Andrecheck as Cleveland’s AGMs.
Today’s announcement helps fill in some gaps left behind by some notable departures from the Guardians’ front office earlier this winter. Former assistant GM Carter Hawkins left the Guardians to become the Cubs’ new general manager back in October, while former special assistant Don Poplin left for a similar position within the Royals front office and former director of amateur scouting John Mirabelli departed for a special assistant role with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.
With these longtime employees moving onto other teams, the Guardians responded by promoting some other familiar names. Forman is entering his 10th season with the organization after starting as a baseball ops intern, and he has worked as an assistant GM for the last five years.
Binder (nine seasons in Cleveland) previously worked as the VP of baseball ops. As per the team’s press release, “Binder will expand his responsibilities across baseball operations, while continuing to lead the organization’s pitching efforts and supporting the Major League field staff with strategic planning and activities.”
Harris (five seasons in Cleveland) worked as the Guardians’ VP and director of player development, and will now “assist in all facets of baseball operations” and “provide macro-level leadership of the player development system along with the Major League and minor league performance areas.” In something of a unique point for a baseball executive, Harris’ previous job before joining the Guardians was working as a football chief of staff under Chip Kelly when Kelly coached the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and at the University of Oregon.
Given how often Cleveland’s front office is targeted by other teams, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of these names surface in future searches for general managers or other high-ranking roles around the league. Harris has already been a finalist for one high-profile job, as he and Hawkins were both among the finalists for the Cubs’ GM job.