As their new, most excellent consultant Tangotiger points out, the Cubs are on the prowl for a new Director of Research & Development — Baseball Operations. Which is good news for some lucky person out there. All the Cubs are asking for is…
- Advanced degree or equivalent experience in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative field.
- Demonstrated project management, problem-solving, and teaching abilities.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate difficult and complex concepts at an appropriate level to colleagues possessing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
- Demonstrated expert-level knowledge (of at least 5 years) with baseball-specific data, modern statistical techniques, and sabermetric analysis.
- Demonstrated expertise with R, STATA, SPSS, SAS, or similar software.
- Demonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling.
- Knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of programming, software-coding, ETL, and/or machine learning techniques.
So, yeah, I’m out. I’ve got plenty of SAS and I do have a reputation as a bit of an oracle, but when it comes to programming, even the TI-83 kicked my butt.
The real stumbling block there, however, might be No. 3. The kind of people with the type of knowledge this job requires aren’t always the best at presenting it to the rest of us.
But best of luck to the Cubs and their likely strategy of offering said person one-fifth of what he/she could make at a Fortune 500 company. And then hiring them anyway because everyone wants to work in baseball.
Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.
Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.
Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.
Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.
Tommy Stokke of RanRag Sports reports that the Braves and Rangers agreed to a trade. According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Braves will receive pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Tyrell Jenkins and Brady Feigl.
Jackson, 25, is under team control through 2022. He has logged only 18 innings in the majors, yielding 14 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with three strikeouts. While Jackson has struggled with control, the Braves likely see upside because his fastball sits in the mid- to high-90’s.
Jenkins, 24, is also under team control through 2022. The right-hander made eight starts and six relief appearances in his first major league season in 2016, putting up a 5.88 ERA with a 26/33 K/BB ratio over 52 innings.
Feigl, 25, was an undrafted free agent and was signed by the Braves in 2013. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and briefly rehabbed in rookie ball this past season.