Chicago Cubs Hire Scott Harris as New Director of Baseball Operations

Today the Chicago Cubs added to their impressive front office brain trust with another up-and-comer: Scott Harris.

Harris, 25, comes over after two years as the Coordinator of Major League Operations in the Commissioner’s Office. Before that, he was an intern with the Reds and Nationals. He’s working on an MBA from Columbia, too. Take notes ye desirers of a front office job.

The Director of Baseball Operations – formerly Scott Nelson – wears a variety of hats, including the administrative portion of managing the 40-man roster (like, making sure all of the rules are followed properly), as well as handling other administrative tasks throughout the organization. I get the sense that it tends to be a lower-level front office position (as in, lower than a GM or an Assistant GM), but one that is definitely a part of the front office, if that makes sense. It seems to be a variable position, depending on how the guys at the top want to use your skills.

The position, it seems, is often filled by a young up-and-comer, at least if Theo Epstein’s experience is any guide – before taking over the Red Sox, Epstein made his bones as the Director of Baseball Operations for San Diego under Larry Lucchino.

Best of luck to Harris, and it will be interesting to watch his development in the Cubs’ organization. It seems strange to use that sentence about a front office executive rather than a prospect, but I guess he’s kind of like a front office prospect.

Wonder where his waiver claim tool falls on the scouting scale?

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

139 responses to “Chicago Cubs Hire Scott Harris as New Director of Baseball Operations”

  1. TWC

    Twenty. Effing. Five.


    1. DocPeterWimsey

      The Cubs clinched the NL East title the night before my 25th birthday, if I recall…

  2. Kubphan82

    Another Scott!!! One I didn’t know was an option.

    1. MaxM1908

      This is starting to get pretty freaky. I think something sinister is afoot.

  3. MichCubFan

    Damn now i feel old, and i’m only 26.

    1. mysterious4th

      Damnnnn 25 and FO for the CUBS! Geez, at 25 I was a few years away from finishing my last enlistment and now I go to college (this next semester will be taken off to make sure I recovery from the organ donation and frequent trips to San Antonio for surgery and post -op-

      What was I thinking playing soldier for a decade I should have been trying to lock on with cubs in some sort of desk job. I’m sure they need somebody to sort their colorful paperclips, highlighters, post its, and such!

      1. FFP


        At 25, like some future senators, I was still an undergrad.

      2. Joe

        You, my friend, are held in a much higher regard than Mr. Harris in my mind. I know the pay isn’t the same, but you and all of our young men who sacrificed their adult lives for our country have accomplished far more than a 25 year old who is signed by the Cubs FO. Nothing against Mr. Harris, of course, but props to you.

        1. FFP

          What Joe said, mysterious4th.

          1. mysterious4th

            Thanks guys! Believe it or not since I was 5 or so I told my family I was going to join the army. All I wanted to be was a soldier. And at about 7 I started saying I was going to be an MP in the Army. And I guess similar to Theo I lived my dream of being an MP in the US Army just as he probably grew up having a dream with the Red Sox (to me that would be a nightmare, but whatever floats his boat)


    He should have dinner at the the Purple Pig- and have his personal namesake chef fix him up something swell. awesome place

  5. Spencer

    What’s his career K rate?

  6. North Side Irish

    This is a hell of a lot more productive than what I was doing with my life at 25…

  7. Carew

    Only 25? There’s hope for me yet!

  8. Marcel91

    I’m 21 and this gives me hope…….not…..all I’ll have at 25 is a mountain of student loans itll take the rest of my life to pay off. It’s terrible out here for college graduates, Companies are starting to prefer 5 years work experience over a degree. This about sums up my life right now

    Best of luck to Scott. In 10 years he’ll be sitting in Theo’s chair

  9. Kyle

    Is that picture him? He looks 40.

    Maybe he can be Jed’s replacement in a few years.

    1. MightyBear

      Maybe he’ll be active in the free agent market, wont he Kyle? LOL

  10. Justin

    I got a bachelor in Psychology, can I become part of the Cub’s FO too? I can go get my MBA too!!! Come on give me a shot.

  11. MightyBear

    I have an MBA. Put me in the FO in charge of free agent acquisitions.
    First – Brandon McCarthy, Second – Josh Hamilton, Third – Jeff Keppinger, Fourth – Mike Napoli. Fill out the bullpen with some strong arms and shore up the bench with some young kids and they’ll be dancing in the streets of Chicago come end of October.

  12. Rizzofanclub

    No to Napoli and Hamilton. Yes to Swisher and Sanchez.

  13. Leroy

    I wanted to be the Cubs broadcaster by the time I turned 30….well I am 30 and instead joined the military and annoy all my friends with useless sports facts…so I guess I’m HALF way there.

    1. MightyBear

      Thanks for the service in the military.

  14. cheryl

    Now you young ‘uns are really making me feel old. I propose the banning of all age related comments from this time forward.

    1. Fishin Phil

      Don’t feel bad Cheryl, I’m so old I fart dust.

    2. MightyBear

      Cmon Cheryl its ok to admit your 29.

      1. cheryl

        You just reduced mt permanent age by 10. ‘m fie with that.

        1. cheryl

          Now if I could just get this keyboard to print the letters I want.Does a Blackberry tablet playbook get any easier? I’m still trying to connect more with you computer-savy people and just bought one.

          1. Spriggs

            Computer savvy people are overrated.

  15. Fastball

    Wait til you turn 52. :( Got two bachelors degree’s and a masters. absolutely worthless pieces of paper. Jounalism, Information Technology and Business. I guess 20 years ago someone actually cared about the paper. I haven’t even had to show them to anyone in years. They are in the drawer with all the mortgage papers and the like. But since I’m 52 maybe they can flip flop my numbers and I can be 25 again. Na. Already had 2 kids in diapers at 25 and 4 more on the way in the next 6 years. Being a catholic was not good at that time in my life. Couldn’t figure out how those kids kept coming every 15 months. Hope the kid knows what he has in front of him. For now he probably gets to run down to Starbucks for Theo and go pick up lunch and coordinate Happy Hour meetings. Keep Theo’s droid updates current and what ever else needs done.

    1. cheryl

      You’e lucky. I have three masters’ degrees and the papers are all in a drawer. Always said that those degrees and $4 will buy you a cup of coffee.

      1. Spriggs

        I’m so old, I would have said, “that and 10 cents will buy you a cup of coffee”.

    2. MoneyBoy

      Joan Rivers said it best, “He tosses and turns a lot in his sleep!”

    3. DocPeterWimsey

      Dude, you sound like my parents! I’m the eldest of 6 kids (all of whom turned out Cubs fans, but none of whom turned out Catholic). When I had my first and only kid (nicknamed Kubby, so he loves the Cubs), I was the same age my father was when I started college.

      I was taking prelims at 25, so this Harris lad probably is ahead of me. (My H from when I was 25 probably will beat his, however!)

  16. Fastball

    Pretty cool business card to have when your out at the bars in Chicago. At 25 he will be farting through silk.

  17. Fastball

    That’s right!! I spend too much time reading global technology crap in bed at night. That’s what I do.
    What I learned in college is of absolutely no use to me now days. We were scribing limestone rocks back then with a hammer and chisel.

  18. Fastball

    Maybe we should have an Old School section here on BN. The sabremetrics guys can all beat each other up and us old timers can talk about ERA’s and Wins and Losses. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t walk away half pissed 5 times a day though. :) It would get boring. I have to admit that I do go check up on these guys every once in a while just to make sure they aren’t blowing smoke. I know where to find all the info if I want it bad enough. ;)

    1. TWC

      Settle down, Gramps! You’re gonna be late for the early-bird special downstairs in the rest home cafeteria!

      1. wilbur

        Be careful where you go with that line of thinking, you’re crossing a line and could really get some people riled … don’t mess with the early bird special.

        1. MoneyBoy

          ^This! wilbur … in best Mr. Ed voice!!

    2. Patrick W.

      45 years old, work for one of the largest technology companies in the world (we kinda sell stuff too), and I believe that the proper examination of data will improve your understanding and enhance your enjoyment of the game of baseball. What school is that?

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        I’ve got 3 years on you, and I lean towards the stats side, even within my own profession!

        1. Caleb

          “lean” towards the stat side? I always thought you were an AI created by Brett.

    3. ColoCubFan

      I agree!!! NOBODY will ever convince me that Babe Ruth wasn’t personally responsible for more than 12 wins with the 1921 Yankees, yet his OWAR is 12, and that’s his best! WAR = joke stat, IMHO.

      Go ahead and hammer me now. I’m old enough to take it.

      1. Smitty

        Had my students compare several different MVP’s on just their wOBA’s during their MVP years, after the Cabrera/Trout debate a couple weeks ago.

        Amazing how Ruth was so far ahead of Trout/Cabrera/Posey/Pujols/Sandberg…etc.

        The man could do many things.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          One thing that we have to remember with Ruth is that he was the only player of his type for a little while. He didn’t just outhomer other players: he outhomered whole teams. It’s now forgotten that the “old school” of his day viewed his performance as a freak show that was not really relevant to winning. It’s not dissimilar to basketball, where it took teams a ridiculously long time to figure out that really tall forwards and centers generated a lot more net points than speedy little guys.

          That’s very relevant because, thanks to Babe Ruth, we now understand that outhomering the other guys playing your position is the single biggest thing a guy can do to elevate his WAR. 25 years later, his numbers still would have been great: but there would have been a host of other RFers within (say) 20 or so HR of him: and thus they would have dragged down Ruth’s WAR by bringing up the number of HR we expect from Joe Quadruple A.

          1. Smitty

            Sure, his WAR would have been lower, but he still would have been the best hitter of all time, correct? You can manipulate numbers all you want(and I am all for it) But please do not let the numbers mislead you. Ruth did what Bonds/Sosa/whomever did before there were PED/Diets/Realizations that smoking/drinking were so terrible for you. I would have to argue if you gave Ruth the knowledge/advances in taking care of one’s body he would probably still be the best…
            I’m sorry, I take that back. He would be the best but with a lot of DUI’s/arrests/suspensions, because Babe liked to do what made Babe have fun.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              “Best” hitter of all time would generate debate, obviously: people can (and do) make legitimate cases for guys like Ted Williams.

              But this is sort of like arguing whether Sgt. Peppers was the best rock album (maybe) versus whether it was the most influential rock album (definitely). Ruth inarguably changed completely and totally the game in a way that no other player has. And what the Babe definitely represents is by far the biggest leap forward in “best” players: if (say) Teddy Baseball was a hair better hitter than the Babe, then it was only a hair better hitter; Ruth was head shoulders and navel above the prior “all time best” hitter.

              1. Smitty

                Well said. Sometimes you show that you aren’t just numbers Doc, and I must admit, your analogy today shows that numbers are more often than not at least close to the point. : )

                1. ReiCow

                  I second this.. I’d give his post a “Like” if this board had that functionality.


              2. hansman1982

                Ruth was great but Williams was just as good. With 120ish fewer games Williams put up a wRAA that was all of 220 runs below Ruth (wRAA is a measure of runs a player is responsible for using wOBA which measures (according to OBP scale) how valuable a player is using everything they do on the offensive side of the ball).

                Keep in mind, wRAA is a counting stat. So with 1000 fewer PA, Williams was able to be right there with Ruth. If only the writers didn’t hate him so much.

  19. ColoCubFan

    How many more front office guys does one major league club need???????

    1. TWC



      1. cheryl

        Aren’t you forgeting to count the guy that turns on the lights?

        1. TWC

          You mean, Scott?

    2. MightyBear

      When you haven’t won a championship in 100 years a lot. We’ve tried it the Phil Wrigley/Chicago Tribune cheap small front office for years. Let’s try something different.

  20. ruby2626

    I’m sure an article will soon follow but how cool is it that Javier Baez was just named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the AZ Fall league. Not sure why but I find it kind of funny that Hendry already knew he was heading out the door and then makes easily his top 1st round choice ever at #9. A little better than Mark Pawelek and Hayden Simpson and of course Josh Vitters at this point not being worth close to the 3rd overall pick. He then follows that up with Dan Vogelbach who has already shown signs he will be a great MLB hitter with a correspondingly high OBP and Tony Zych in the 4th round. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad Hendry is gone but it’s great he gave us all a nice parting gift.

  21. Byron Browne

    As an old schooler I think the sabremetrics guys are trying to find a statistic (or at best, a series of statistics) that will absolutely, positively determine a player’s “worth.” Chart the players and rate them one through 750. While this will work at differating the best from the worst, the problem is that most major leaguers are within the margin of error, at the center of the bell curve. If one player has a SLG of .523 and another has one of .524, the latter is statistically the better hitter, but statistically a meaningless comparison. And with all the different variables involved in the game, stistical analysis is often misleading. Historically, consider Robert McNamara’s and the Viet Nam War(!) He tried to bring sound business and analytical theories and practices to the conduct of the war. Unfortunately the VC and NVA hadn’t read these theories and what should have happened, didn’t. So sabremetrics may be sort of like Einstein’s quest for the unified wave theory, a formula that would explain all and predict all with perfect accuracy; he never found it, and it, like perfect sabremetrics, may not exist.

  22. Kyle


    Seriously. I threw up one little blog and one little adsense on it. Brett mentioned it in passing. Judging from the hits and ad impressions, Brett is getting freaking rich off us.

    Just thought you’d want to know.

    1. ScottMaxM1908

      And Scott said, “May all your blogs be trafficful and all your ads ever-clicked.” In Scott’s name, we pray.

    2. ScottMaxM1908

      I missed the shout out to this new blog? Where is it?

    3. MightyBear

      Where’s the K-man blog? I would like to visit it.

      I hope Brett does get rich. Nothing wrong with getting rich.

    4. hansman1982

      I do enjoy how the first article on fire theo Epstein is about a Hendry prospect.

    5. MightyBear

      Boy, I read the blog K-man. You have got to get rid of those negative waves Moriarity.
      Again don’t agree with everything but at least there is thought behind the articles.

      1. Kyle

        I’m already bored with it. I doubt it gets updated.

        1. Myles

          As your top commenter (with 2 comments, fully 100% of the comments that aren’t yourself), I think you should keep at it. At the risk of sounding very presumptuous, you are basically the only commenter that I feel really comfortable arguing with and that are most like me, and your comments/posts are thought-provoking like 90% of the time (I’m not saying that the other people on this or other boards aren’t intelligent).

          I’m also EXTREMELY jealous. I’d love to start a blog but I don’t have the time or commitment to post good content every day, which is a necessary (but not sufficient) requirement to succeed.

          1. hansman1982

            Yes, as someone who has attempted (and continues to do a half-hearted job of it) to create a blog while working full-time, we CAN NOT give Brett enough gratitude for the year and a half that he spent toiling away while working full-time. Blogging, for all the negative wrap it gets, is insanely difficult to do well.

            Kudos to you Berticus!!!

  23. Mike S

    The Twins got Alex Meyer (#50 overall prospect) for Denard Span??? WTF

  24. mudge

    I’m older than all the stats guys put together.

  25. Jason "Thundermug"

    On Chicago Tribune Live the guy that crunches numbers who thought last season about the Cubs getting Paul Maholm suggested the Cubs should get Brendan McCarthy and Ryan Ludwick thoughts

  26. MightyBear

    McCarthy yes. Ludwick no.

  27. bluekoolaidaholic

    Geez Theo, enough with the suits already!
    Find one that can play 3B and hit for power.

  28. Dustin

    Pirates agree to terms with Russell Martin on a 2yr deal worth 17mm

    1. Luke

      And Tony Sanchez doesn’t appear to like that move. I doubt he’s available (he probably needs two years in the minors still anyway… one and a half at least), but I imagine the Pirates are getting some calls.

  29. #1lahairfan

    Hey Brett why did you make your blog a website instead of making it on blogger and other places?

    1. hansman1982

      I’m not Brett but I can tell you that traditional blogging websites limit what you can do with your site.

      Also, I believe he uses WordPress (just a semi-educated guess there) which is Blogger on steroids to the Bonds power!

      1. ScottGoat

        Yes he uses WordPress

        1. hansman1982

          I was 99.9% sure…the message board gives it away.

  30. dan

    I t scott told u the scott thing Scott Rolen is next