By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
The Indians are making a big announcement today that is of little surprise.
In a front-office shakeup set to take place upon the conclusion of the 2010 season, GM Mark Shapiro will be promoted to team president, while his assistant, Chris Antonetti, will assume the GM role. Current president Paul Dolan, meanwhile, will become the club’s chairman and CEO.
The moves will be officially announced at a 1:30 p.m. ET press conference at Progressive Field.
Why is this of little surprise?
Well, for one, it has long been assumed that Antonetti is Shapiro’s successor, and that assumption was all but confirmed when Antonetti turned down the Cardinals’ GM job following the ’07 season. At that point, Tribe ownership encouraged Antonetti to stay with “GM-type money,” for lack of a better term, and Antonetti’s role has increased incrementally ever since. In the past year, especially, he has assumed more and more of the day-to-day GM responsibilities, including player acquisition and contract negotiations.
As for Shapiro, he’s entering his ninth season as this club’s GM, and he’s been in the organization for 19 years. His current contract was to run through 2012. At the time he signed his contract extension in 2007, he made it pretty clear that he didn’t envision himself remaining a GM beyond the length of that deal. Well-respected in the industry (witness his inclusion in Bud Selig’s recently created Special Committee for On-Field Matters) his ascension to the role of president seems the next logical step in his career.
So when it comes to the Indians’ baseball operations, it figures to be business as usual on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario when Antonetti officially takes over. However, it remains to be seen how Shapiro will approach the club president responsibilities, which include overseeing the organization’s business operations. I’m sure he’ll give his initial thoughts on that at today’s presser.