Slater is also reportedly “under heavy consideration” to be the next GM of the Detroit Tigers
According to a report from Lynn Henning of The Detroit News, there are three names that are believed to be “under heavy consideration” to be the next general manager of the Detroit Tigers. Yesterday, we went over Josh Byrnes. Today, we’ll be going over a lesser known name in Cardinals director of player personnel Matt Slater.
Slater, also under listed under the title of special assistant to the GM, player procurement, has held the position since 2012. He works with Cardinals GM Mike Girsch (and presumably with president of baseball operations John Mozeliak) in all aspects of player acquisition, both at the major league and minor league level. He also helps with contract negotiations.
Before joining the Cardinals, Slater, 51, also held baseball operations and scouting positions with the Dodgers, Orioles and Brewers. He’s been with the Cardinals since 2007, as has Mozeliak. They’ve worked together for 15 years, so they must have good rapport with one another.
The Cardinals have been one of the best organizations in terms of player development and scouting for years now. Though that isn’t Slater’s specialty with the organization, he’s worked in scouting before. There are countless example of St. Louis turning no-name players into dependable big leaguers—David Eckstein, anyone?
The biggest concern with Slater is his lack of experience. He’s been an assistant to the GM for virtually his entire career. He’s held the same position with the Cardinals for 15 years. That speaks to one of two things: either he’s great at that job or the organization (and the baseball world) doesn’t view him as a worthy candidate for promotion.
He interviewed for the Phillies GM job back in 2015 before they ultimately chose Matt Klentak. That appears to be the only GM job he’s interviewed for that we know of.
He also appears to have no overlap with A.J. Hinch—unlike Josh Byrnes—making it more uncertain that he would retain him. We won’t no for sure if the next GM would want to completely clean house or not until after they are hired.
Slater is not the only name from Cardinals’ brass the Tigers seems to be interested in. Henning also lists scouting director Randy Flores as someone the Tigers “have at least considered.” Flores is a bit more intriguing because he helps oversee the draft, and the Cardinals draft very well.
Still, the Cardinals are a very smart organization, and the Detroit Tigers need a smart person from a smart organization to run their front office. Slater is not a very exciting candidate, but he can’t be worse than Al Avila…right?