The Cleveland Browns have hired Mets Vice President of Player Development Paul DePodesta as Chief Strategy Officer. This will be DePodesta's first job in a professional football front office after twenty years working in baseball. He played football at Harvard and says in the Browns' press release that he first attempted to work for an NFL franchise before starting his career in baseball.
The press release says that DePodesta's responsibilities with the Browns will include "assessing and implementing best practices and strategies that will provide the organization with the comprehensive resources needed to make optimal decisions." It also mentions that he will "help members of our player development, high performance and analytics departments maximize their efforts."
DePodesta got his start in baseball working for the Cleveland Indians in 1996 under John Hart. He is frequently cited as a sabermetic-minded executive, but he also has a background in scouting and has talked frequently about using both skill sets together for maximum success. In 1999, he left the Indians and became a part of the legendary Oakland Athletics front office chronicled in Moneyball before taking over as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004. Under his leadership, the Dodgers made the playoffs in 2004, but they had a miserable, injury-laden 2005 season, and DePodesta was fired by then-owner Frank McCourt. After leaving Los Angeles, DePodesta was hired by Sandy Alderson twice: once in San Diego in 2006 and again in New York in 2010.
In related news, the Mets will reportedly promote Kevin Morgan, formerly the Director of Minor League Operations, to Director of Player Development for the club in 2016, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Morgan will take over for new bench coach Dick Scott, who held the position since succeeding Terry Collins in that role in 2011.