The Detroit Tigers transformation continues as the club parts with longtime front office member David Chadd.
The inevitable became reality on Monday afternoon when the Detroit Tigers and David Chadd parted ways. Chadd was employed by the Tigers for 18 years. Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic further reported the separation was mutual.
The only real surprise here is that it took so long. David Chadd was a long-serving confidant of former general manager Al Avila, so most assumed he would follow Avila out the door. But Chadd outlasted Detroit’s hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, as well as scouting director Scott Pleis. He even held on for a few hours longer than head of medical services Kevin Rand.
It’s entirely possible this breakup occurred a few days ago and it was just made public now. But that Chadd survived longer than Avila and Pleis suggests Scott Harris is willing to give everyone a chance. Or, perhaps Harris simply let Chadd ride out the end of his contract as a sign of respect for a distinguished career.
Remembering David Chadd
David Chadd came up as a player in Kansas, and he spent time on both the Wichita State and Kansas State coaching staffs in the early 90s. He first crossed paths with Al Avila and Dave Dombrowski as a scout for the Florida Marlins. He briefly took over as Marlins scouting director when Avila left, and then in 2002 he took on the same role with the Boston Red Sox.
Chadd stayed in Boston for just three years. But it’s hard to argue with the team’s hit rate in the draft during his time as scouting director. In 2002 the Red Sox used their top pick (57th overall) on five-time All-Star Jon Lester. The following year they landed six-time All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 4th round. And in 2004 the Red Sox used the 65th overall pick on an undersized second baseman named Dustin Pedroia.
The Tigers made Chadd their scouting director in 2005, and he remained in that role until 2012. The club drafted Cameron Maybin, Rick Porcello, and a handful of future All-Stars during that run. But they generally struggled to find talent outside of the first round.
Pleis took over as scouting director in 2013, and then in 2015 Detroit promoted Chadd to assistant general manager. His run in that role coincided with some of the worst baseball in Detroit Tigers franchise history. The Tigers removed Chadd from his assistant GM position in August 2021, and the writing seemed to be on the wall.
But he and Avila gave it one last go in 2022. Things obviously didn’t work out, and Chadd will seek a future elsewhere.
Scott Harris will probably part ways with a few more holdovers from the Avila regime in the near future. But most of the big names are gone now. It seems likely the Tigers are ready to start adding to the front office again. News of a new general manager and/or scouting director may even come before the World Series begins.