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Shapiro Gets a Promotion


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Antonetti to succeed Shapiro as GM

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Associated Press


CLEVELAND -- Indians general manager Mark Shapiro will be promoted to team president after the season and be succeeded as GM by his assistant, Chris Antonetti.


Paul Dolan, son of owner Larry Dolan, will shift from president to chief executive officer, a title held by his father.


The changes were announced Thursday, on the eve of spring training. Shapiro and Antonetti are starting their ninth seasons in their current roles.


Antonetti has been coveted by teams with GM openings but passed with the understanding he would receive his chance in Cleveland. He has taken on a larger role in personnel decisions recently, orchestrating the trade that sent former AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to Philadelphia last summer for prospects.


Cleveland won the AL Central in 2007 and came within one victory of reaching the World Series in 2007, their best finish under Shapiro. A son of prominent agent Ron Shapiro, Mark Shapiro was selected major league executive of the year by The Sporting News in 2005 and 2007.


Cleveland traded reigning Cy Young winners in consecutive years during his tenure. When injuries hampered the Indians' ability to contend in '08, Shapiro dealt CC Sabathia to Milwaukee for prospects. Faced with dwindling revenue and another underachieving team last season, the Indians traded All-Star catcher Victor Martinez to Boston and Lee to the Phillies for more prospects.


Following last season's disappointment, Shapiro fired Eric Wedge, the manager he had hired before the 2003 season.


Shapiro is entering his 19th season with the Indians. He took over from former GM John Hart in much the same way Antonetti will succeed Shapiro.


Antonetti is entering his 12th season with the team after joining the baseball operations department in 1999.


What exactly does this mean for the Tribe? It will be interesting to see if Antonetti has some cujones and won't be bullied by Shapiro. I think that since Shapiro groomed him that not much will change and Shapiro will basically still make all the decisions whether it is through his new puppet or directly from him.

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Anthony Castrovince


The wheels were set in motion for these moves quite a while back. Antonetti, who joined the Tribe's baseball operations department in 1999, has seen his role in player acquisition and contract negotiations increase in recent years. He has been rumored as a candidate for multiple GM vacancies around MLB and, in fact, turned down an offer to become the GM of the Cardinals after the 2007 season.


At the time Antonetti turned down that job, ownership assured him of its intentions for him to succeed Shapiro as GM.


"It's impossible to simulate sitting in that chair," said Antonetti, who won't name his assistant until season's end. "But because of the opportunities Mark has provided to be the point person on [trade and free-agent] discussions, I do feel prepared."


In many ways, it will be business as usual at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario both in 2010 and beyond, because Shapiro figures to remain involved in player personnel discussions.


"What makes our culture special," Shapiro said, "is when we get up on that floor and we're working, titles are irrelevant. We're looking for every person to contribute and to make us better and more efficient in our operation. That's always been our underlying understanding. I've never once felt up there that anybody's ego was getting in the way of us getting better. That starts with a leadership relationship that those walls don't get built up that are so traditional in most organizations."


The difference after this season will be that Antonetti will be the one who makes the final call and the proposal to ownership on major decisions.


"I'd be foolish not to continue to use [shapiro] as a resource," Antonetti said. "I look at that as a clear asset and clear benefit. Mark won't have to push ideas on me. I'll actively solicit those from him."


Shapiro, on the other hand, will see his interests in the organization expand considerably. The Indians announced these moves now largely so that Shapiro can spend the upcoming season learning and evaluating the ins and outs of the Indians' business operation in a transparent manner.

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Over at http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/ - Matthew Pouliot tried to do a 5 and 5 thing while looking at Shapiro's greatest hits and misses. He goes into a bit more detail in the comment section below the piece:


Mark Shapiro's greatest hits and misses

Thu Feb 18,2010 5:21 PM ET By Matthew Pouliot


With Mark Shapiro being bumped upstairs by the Indians, here's a look at his best and worst moves in his nine seasons at the helm in Cleveland:




June 27, 2002 - Indians acquired SS Brandon Phillips, LHP Cliff Lee, OF Grady Sizemore and 1B Lee Stevens from the Expos for RHP Bartolo Colon and RHP Tim Drew.


The greatest haul of the decade. Expos GM Omar Minaya had nothing to lose at the time and gave up arguably his three best prospects in an effort to take his team to the playoffs. As it turned out, all three of youngsters went on to reach their ceilings, though the Indians did give up on one of them too early.


Dec. 6, 2002 - Indians acquired 1B Travis Hafner and RHP Aaron Myette from the Rangers for RHP Ryan Drese and C Einar Diaz.


I still remember seeing this materializing as a rumor and thinking some reporter was dreaming. Hafner was behind Mark Teixeira in Texas, but the team would have had room for both. Instead, new Rangers GM John Hart did a big favor for the youngster who had just replaced him in Cleveland.


June 30, 2006 - Indians acquired INF Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mariners for 1B Eduardo Perez.

July 26, 2006 - Indians acquired OF Shin-Soo Choo and LHP Shawn Nottingham from the Mariners for 1B Ben Broussard and cash.


In the span of a month, Shapiro turned a mediocre first-base platoon into two building blocks. If things look rather bleak for the Indians now, think of how bad it'd be if Bill Bavasi never got the Mariners GM job.


July 26, 2008 - Indians acquired C Carlos Santana and RHP Jonathan Meloan from the Dodgers for 3B Casey Blake and cash.


This one hasn't paid off yet, but it will, even though Meloan proved to be a bust. Santana is one of the game's top three prospects, and he could well be a new Victor Martinez for the Indians. It was an awesome return for a decent regular who was two months away from free agency.


March 15, 2006 - Indians signed OF Grady Sizemore to a six-year, $23.45 million contract extension with a club option for 2012.


I'll give this the fifth spot over the similar Martinez extension (five years, $15.5 million) and the Coco Crisp acquisition (Crisp and 1B Luis Garcia from the Cardinals for a half-season of a soon-to-retire Chuck Finley).




July 11, 2007 - Indians signed DH Travis Hafner to a four-year, $57 million contract extension through 2012.


Hafner had just concluded a three-year run in which he finished second, second and first in the AL in OPS, but the Indians simply didn't need to make this move, as the designated hitter was already under control for 2008 at the bargain price of $4.75 million. Because of his dramatic decline, the contract was a franchise killer before it even kicked in with the start of the 2009 season.


April 7, 2006 - Indians acquired RHP Jeff Stevens from the Reds for 2B/SS Brandon Phillips.


Phillips was brutal as a regular for the Indians as a 22-year-old in 2003, and he received just 33 major league at-bats over the following two seasons. Out of options in 2006, the team gave him away, and he's hit .276/.324/.452 in the four seasons since.


Jan. 5, 2004 - Indians acquired LHP Scott Stewart from the Expos for OF Ryan Church and INF Maicer Izturis.

The Indians had a wealth of young position players at the time, and they didn't see either Church or Izturis turning into regulars for the team. However, both went on to become quality role players. Stewart, on the other hand, lasted less than two months in the Cleveland bullpen and never pitched in the majors after 2004.


June 7, 2004 - Indians selected LHP Jeremy Sowers with the sixth pick in the 2004 draft.


Shapiro had just one top-10 draft pick during his Indians tenure, and he opted to go conservative and use it on the polished Sowers, a Vanderbilt product considered a future No. 3 starter by most.


In truth, not one of Shapiro's 13 first- and supplemental first-round picks has done much of anything to help the Indians. The last two -- Lonnie Chisenhall and Alex White -- still offer plenty of promise and David Huff is currently in the rotation, but Michael Aubrey, Trevor Crowe and Beau Mills have all been big disappointments and Jeremy Guthrie didn't experience any success until leaving the organization.


April 5, 2007 - Indians signed RHP Jake Westbrook to a three-year, $33 million contract extension through 2010.


It was a fair price to retain a very reliable starter, but Westbrook, who looked like a fine bet to stay healthy, was limited to five starts in the first two years of the deal. Obviously, in hindsight, the Indians would have far better off holding back the money and putting it into an offer to retain either CC Sabathia or Lee.





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Neyer wrote about the piece on Friday:


From Matthew Pouliot, lists of Mark Shapiro's greatest hits and misses as Indians general manager. The lists aren't completely fair because Pouliot counts as a "miss" a deal that seemed perfectly fine at the time. In a sense, what's really being counted is lucky outcomes and unlucky outcomes (though the two deals with the Mariners did look like steals at the time, and still do). Anyway, he comes up with six hits and five misses, which means it's too early to call this one. We have to see what Matt LaPorta does, and what happens to all those prospects the Indians got from the Phillies last summer.





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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll always consider Shapiro a bonehead for not retaining Sabathia and Lee, and for giving a DH a huge contract instead of paying a reliable starting pitcher in Kevin Millwood.


Imagine if our rotation was Sabathia, Lee, Millwood, Carmona, Huff/Westbrook. It makes me sick.

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I think Shapiro is mediocre as a GM.............and his performance has been lowered by CHEAP MANAGEMENT.............. the stuff yu mentioned he got forced to do for DOLLARS


Dolan Blows

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