The Detroit Tigers rounded out their upper levels of the front office on Thursday by hiring Jeff Greenberg as general manager. Detroit made the announcement Thursday morning.
We'll get to Greenberg in a second, but remember that some front offices of Major League Baseball are still undergoing shifts in titles in the front office.and replaced him with Scott Harris. Harris was given the title president of baseball operations, however, so while he was fulfilling the same duties as Avila, the Tigers technically didn't have a general manager.
The general manager in this structure is an extra upper-level management person -- popularized by the Cubs with Theo Epstein as president and Jed Hoyer as general manager -- and that person is now Greenberg. He has most recently been an associate general manager of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.
Speaking of the Cubs, both Harris and Greenberg come from the baseball operation on the North Side of Chicago. Harris worked for seven years under Epstein, going from director of baseball operations to assistant general manager. Greenberg spent 11 seasons with the Cubs, rising also to assistant general manager.
In a press release, the Tigers pointed out Greenberg "played a key role in creating the systems and strategies that helped the Cubs scout and develop talent, leading to five postseason appearances during his tenure, including the 2016 World Series championship."
"I'm thrilled to add an executive of Jeff's quality to our baseball operations leadership team," Harris said in a statement. "Throughout this search, it was important for me to find someone who can fit seamlessly into the culture we're building here. I also wanted to bring in someone with a fresh perspective and new ideas that could challenge us on a daily basis and make us all better as we strive towards our goal of bringing postseason baseball back to Detroit. We're excited to welcome Jeff, his wife, Erin, and their sons, Leo and Sam to the Tigers family."
"It's an extraordinary honor to take on this role with one of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball," Greenberg added in the release. "Throughout my conversations with Scott, Chris Ilitch and the rest of the team with the Tigers, it became clear that this organization is headed in a great direction with an incredible culture of development and innovation that I'm excited to be part of. Another constant message in those conversations was that Tigers fans want to see winning baseball deep into October. I'm excited to get to work with our front office on off-season and longer-term plans to make that our reality."
After four straight division titles from 2011-14, the Tigers are now tied with the Angels for the longest playoff drought in Major League Baseball. They lost 98 games in both 2017 and 2018 before bottoming out at 114 losses in 2019. After a 96-loss season last year, the Tigers this season are 71-81.