The Cleveland Indians announced early Tuesday afternoon several important front office moves, several of which had been speculated for quite some time.
General manager Chris Antonetti has been named president of baseball operations, while assistant general manager Mike Chernoff has been promoted to general manager and Derek Falvey has been named assistant GM.
Antonetti is not expected at this time to deal with the business side of the organization but will instead focus on the baseball operations, a growing trend around the Major League Baseball landscape. He took over the general manager role following the 2010 season after working for nearly a decade as the club’s assistant general manager.
He does not assume the role previously held by departing president Mark Shapiro, who also handled the business side of the organization. That responsibility will continue to be handled by Dolan and others around him.
As a direct result of the restructuring, former assistant general manager under Antonetti, Chernoff, has been named the new general manager of the Indians. The 34-year-old Princeton graduate is entering his 13th season with the club and was sought out by several teams for roles within their organizations, but opted to stay put in Cleveland. A promotion to his new position and title makes the reasons for that decision much more clear now.
Falvey, an eight-year veteran of the organization, will work as an assistant general manager under Chernoff. The 32-year-old was previously listed as the Director of Baseball Operations – Player Personnel and Acquisitions with the club.
“Across our industry, job responsibilities in baseball operations have expanded considerably over the last ten years,” owner and chairman Paul Dolan shared in a press release today. “These moves reflect a structure that a number of other teams have recently adopted. Chris will continue to work closely with Tito [Terry Francona], overseeing the direction of all our baseball decision-making, while Mike and Derek now hold titles that better align with the responsibilities they have already largely assumed in our on-going efforts to develop members of our organization.”
Antonetti’s role is expected to be similar to that which he had as general manager, working closely with Francona to construct the ball club. Both Chernoff and Falvey will see their responsibilities increased, with titles that better reflect the expanded roles that they had already been working within.
Antonetti, during his time as general manager, has made multiple trades of benefit for the ball club and has seen the farm system grow a bit in depth and quality compared to the prospects in the minors during Shapiro’s time as general manager.
Chernoff, who assisted Antonetti in the past on many general manager responsibilities, is now tasked with bringing in the pieces necessary to improve an 81-80 Indians roster that drastically fell short of expectations in the recently completed 2015 season. A week ago, Did the Tribe Win Last Night looked back on a conversation with Chernoff here as rumors of this front office shuffle circulated.
Photo: Chuck Crow/Cleveland Plain Dealer