The Cubs restructured their front office a bit on Wednesday, with the departure of Vice President of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita drawing the headlines. That’s undoubtedly the biggest change, given that Fleita brought both Starlin Castro and Carlos Marmol into the organization.
Still, what I found especially interesting was that they dropped both their Manager of Baseball Information, Chuck Wasserstrom, and their Manager of Statistical Analysis, Ari Kaplan. Wasserstrom’s position is being eliminated entirely, as the Cubs have decided that can do without a Baseball Information Manager. One wonders if they’ll re-title Kaplan’s old job, considering those two were the only people in the front office listed as Managers.
Fleita, Wasserstrom and Kaplan were all part of the old guard from before Theo Epstein was brought in last fall. Obviously, Epstein is a believer in statistical analysis, but he’ll want some of his own guys doing work there. Kaplan will remain in the organization for now in a consultant role.
Free agent reliever Bryan Shaw has received two multiyear offers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The teams in question have not been revealed, but the demand for Shaw is expected to be high as he comes off of a career-best season.
The 30-year-old right-hander went 4-6 in 79 appearances for the Indians, drawing a 3.52 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 in 76 2/3 innings. He ranked 12th among qualified relievers with 1.6 fWAR, his highest mark to date, and proved instrumental in helping the club reach their second consecutive division title in 2017.
The Mets are the last known team to show interest in Shaw, as the New York Post’s Mike Puma reported Wednesday. Nothing has been officially confirmed by the club yet, naturally, but they could still use a couple of arms to round out the bullpen behind Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia and it’s worth noting that the right-hander has already worked closely with Mets’ skipper and former Indians’ pitching coach Mickey Callaway. While Shaw’s proven consistency and durability should appeal to a wide variety of teams, he’s due for a big payday after making just $4.6 million in his last year with the Indians.