I’ve been wrong about many things in my time at Bleacher Nation, but I’ve been right about a thing or two, too. One of the latter was a prediction that, if the Cubs landed Epstein (ironically, something about which I was wrong), the top up-and-coming executives around baseball would be banging down the door to work with Epstein. As both a fan and a prognosticator, I’m pretty excited to see that prediction coming true.
The Chicago Cubs have added former Diamondbacks’ Director of Player Personnel Shiraz Rehman as an Assistant to the General Manager, whose title is begging for an ‘Office’ joke. The move came with little fanfare – that is to say, no fanfare at all. There wasn’t even an announcement.
But don’t let that suggest to you that landing Rehman isn’t another coup for the front office.
Rehman is a statistically-inclined guy, with a background in finance, who primarily focused on roster management with the Diamondbacks. From his MIT Sloan Analytics Conference (which is what it sounds like it is) bio:
Rehman’s primary responsibilities [with the Diamondbacks] are with the Major League team, assisting in the maintenance of the club’s 40-man roster, providing financial and statistical analysis to support trade and player evaluation, and overseeing all transactions and Major League rules interpretation and compliance. He plays a key role in the arbitration process, contract structuring and negotiations, and oversees baseball analysis efforts for the team. Rehman also spearheads the D-backs’ development of Baseball Operations technology and video solutions, and coordinates the department’s internship program. In addition, he manages much of the financial planning and budgeting processes for all of baseball operations. Before joining the D-backs, Rehman interned for the Boston Red Sox during the 2005 season in Baseball Operations.
And there’s your Red Sox connection.
Rehman’s precise role with the Cubs remains to be seen, but you can imagine that “super awesome smart guy” is probably going to be in there somewhere. Rehman is a true up-and-comer in the baseball world, and was even listed as an honorable mention in MLBTR’s list of top GM candidates who’ve yet to land a top job. Given his broad base of experience with the Diamondbacks, it’s fair to assume Rehman will be among the Cubs’ inner circle members when it comes to decision making on the big league level.
Rehman was interviewed a couple years ago by Baseball Prospectus, and, while long, it’s worth a read. This is clearly another bright guy who “gets it.”
“It,” of course, being not only the right way to build and operate a modern ball club, but also the chance to dramatically improve the way the Cubs have been going about things for the better part of two decades. The Cubs now have a half dozen of those guys at the top, but, what the hell – let’s hope for a few more.
(h/t to John Arguello)