The Detroit Tigers hired Jeff Greenberg as their general manager Thursday as the club continues to rebuild its front office. Here’s what you need to know:
- Greenberg, 37, becomes the Tigers’ 20th manager in franchise history.
- Detroit has had a year-long vacancy for its general manager position after firing Al Avila in August 2022.
- Greenberg previously worked for the Chicago Cubs for 11 years, most recently as an assistant general manager.
- In April 2022, he moved across town to be the associate general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Tigers have named Jeff Greenberg as the 20th General Manager in club history, as announced by President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris. pic.twitter.com/7pI4eJ64IN
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 21, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What to expect from Greenberg
Just as Farhan Zaidi did when he hired Scott Harris as general manager of the San Francisco Giants, Scott Harris took his time finding a right-hand man.
More than one year after Harris took over as Detroit’s president of baseball operations, he has finally added a general manager in Greenberg. Although Greenberg’s foray into hockey might make him feel like an unconventional hire, Harris and Greenberg worked together for years with the Cubs, where they rose the ranks together under Theo Epstein’s guidance.
Director of pro scouting was one of Greenberg’s roles with the Cubs and perhaps what made him a good fit to join Harris in Detroit. The Tigers revamped their player development staff at the end of the 2021 season. Upon Harris’ hire last year, they overhauled their amateur scouting. Pro scouting had largely been left untouched, so Greenberg’s experience in that realm could be an asset to the Tigers regardless of how much change is ahead.
For now, we don’t know much about how Harris and Greenberg will divvy up responsibilities. — Stavenhagen
How he helped the Blackhawks
Greenberg was an out-of-the-box hire for the Blackhawks after coming from baseball and the Cubs. He had originally been a finalist for the Blackhawks general manager opening, but after being passed over, he was later hired to be an associate general manager. He was given the task of building the organization’s analytics department. The Blackhawks had outsourced its hockey data previously.
What exactly Greenberg has been working on has been kept mostly secret, but the Blackhawks have put a lot of resources into the department, including making a number of hires, and have reportedly been using the data in more of their decisions. It is worth noting the Blackhawks had denied Greenberg to interview with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this summer. — Powers
What they’re saying
“It’s an extraordinary honor to take on this role with one of the most historic franchises in Major League Baseball,” Greenberg said in a statement. “Throughout my conversations with (Harris), (CEO and chairman) 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. … I’m excited to get to work with our front office on off-season and longer-term plans to make that our reality.”
Greenberg and the Blackhawks also released statements on his departure from the hockey team.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the team will miss Greenberg’s “expertise and appreciate the contributions he made to the Blackhawks,” while Greenberg thanked the Blackhawks for all they’ve done for him.
During his Cubs tenure, Greenberg served as director of pro scouting and baseball operations, director of baseball operations and assistant to the general manager. He was the assistant general manager in his final three seasons with the club. Greenberg played an integral role in helping the Cubs develop talent and usher in a rebuild that culminated in the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.
Before his time with the Cubs, Greenberg interned with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006, 2008), Arizona Diamondbacks (2010) and MLB (2009-11).
(Photo: Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)