Giants officially announce Astros’ Pete Putila as new general manager


SAN FRANCISCO — When the Giants needed a new general manager in 2019, they chose a young executive from a Chicago Cubs franchise that won the World Series in 2016. For Scott Harris’ replacement, the Giants went to the 2017 champion.

Former Houston Astros assistant general manager Pete Putila was named the Giants’ new general manager on Monday night, ending a quick search that started when Harris took the president of operations job with the Detroit Tigers in September. Putila has spent the last 12 seasons with the Astros and was in his third year as assistant general manager.

Putila was a finalist for the job when president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi hired Harris in 2019, and Zaidi said he was thrilled that he got another shot to interview Putila and bring him this time. The Giants had several finalists who interviewed over the last few weeks, but Putila’s background in player development — for an organization that does it as well as anybody — stood out.

“He has an extensive background in player development,” Zaidi said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re limiting the scope to the minor leagues. We’ve talked a lot over the last couple years about how much we value continued player development through the Major League level and think players can continue to improve . That’s really been a point of emphasis throughout Pete’s successful career with the Astros.”

A Pennsylvania native who went to West Virginia University, Putila started with the Astros as an intern in 2011 and worked his way up through the baseball operations department, working as a director of player development and then assistant GM. Asked what stood out about the Giants since his previous interview, Putila pointed to the record-setting 2021 squad.

“I think it’s incredible the team set a franchise record with 107 wins in one of the tougher divisions in the league,” Putila said. “I think that speaks to the players, obviously. Players play and it’s all about the players. It also speaks to (Gabe Kapler) and the coaching staff and their ability to put them in the best position to succeed.”

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In introducing Putilia, Zaidi said he was also swayed by an “incredible number of really strong endorsements from people who had worked with Pete in the Astros organization.” The process this time was different than in 2019, when Zaidi did most of the interviews himself. This time around, candidates met with everyone from Larry Baer and Kapler, to prominent members of the baseball operations department like Zack Minasian, Jeremy Shelley and Yeshayah Goldfarb.

“Pete was the consensus choice from those internal discussions,” Zaidi said.

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