After 18 seasons serving as the General Manager for the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane was promoted to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, the team announced.
Beane’s shoes in the general manager role will be filled by former Assistant GM David Forst.
Widely considered the architect of the Athletics’ eight postseason appearances since the turn of the century, Beane’s ascent leaves a vacancy that Owner and Managing Partner Lew Wolff feels is most easily filled by Forst:
“Billy Beane and David Forst have continually proven themselves to be two of the best baseball minds in the game today. The team remains in great hands. We’re very fortunate to have not one but two executives of their caliber.”
Beane was drafted 23rd overall in the 1980 MLB Draft. With his playing career failing to bear fruit, the Orlando, Fla. native became an advance scout for the A’s in 1990.
He held the scout position until 1993 when he was promoted to the position of assistant GM. Under the tutelage of then-GM Sandy Alderson, Beane developed his sabermetric-based approach of team development. After the 1997 season, Beane was named A’s general manager.
Using sabermetrics, he built 18 teams that amassed an overall 1552-1362 win-loss record (.533), the fourth-best record in the AL and sixth-best in MLB over the 18-year period. His teams also won the AL West division crown six times (2000, 2002-03, 2006 and 2012-2013) and an AL Wild Card berth twice (2001 and 2014).
In his 18 years as the GM of the A’s, Beane was named The Sporting News Executive of the Year twice (1999 and 2012) as well as Baseball America’s Major League Executive of the year twice (2002 and 2013).
Beane’s successor Forst, 39, has worked within the A’s organization for 16 years, 12 of which have come as assistant GM. His previous roles with the organization came with duties of aiding Beane in player acquisitions, contract negotiations and player evaluations.
Forst, a Santa Monica, Calif. native, is a graduate of Harvard University (with a bachelor’s degree in sociology) where he was the shortstop and captain of the Harvard Crimson baseball team.
After a season that saw the A’s finish with the AL’s worst record (68-94), just one year removed from a wild card game appearance, the Oakland brain trust will be the same duo with updated responsibilities.