Baseball’s hyperactive transformation has played out at least partially in the public eye, be it a lopsided defensive shift, an exotic breaking pitch thrown in a 3-0 count or a uniformed coach who never made it past junior college as a player.
For the next several weeks, change will occur in a far more private fashion, be it a phone call from the general manager or a summons to the corner office, where a loyal employee will be informed his or her services are no longer needed.
Certainly, this ritual is nothing new. Contracts for scouts and many baseball operations types typically expire at the end of October, resulting in a rash of hiring and firing that, back in the day, looked like a game of musical chairs, as Charlie Crosschecker merely changed the team for whom he worked but not his job description.
This hiring-and-firing season, however, has an entirely unique feel, one that reflects the state of the major leagues: The Dodgers and Astros are lapping the field, and everyone else is trying to catch up.
That game is about brain power and personnel and revamping processes to meet the modern demands of procuring and developing the game’s greatest players. That will only accelerate the amount of personnel shifts this winter.
Five teams – the Phillies, Mets, White Sox, Rays and Mariners – have made changes atop their pro scouting, amateur scouting, Dominican scouting or player development departments.