"Across our industry, job responsibilities in baseball operations have expanded considerably over the last 10 years," Indians owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a release. "These moves reflect a structure that a number of other teams have recently adopted."
A few examples of this type of front-office dynamic exist with the Red Sox, the Cubs and the Dodgers.
Boston recently hired former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski as its president of baseball operations and then brought in Mike Hazen to serve as the GM. In Chicago, Theo Epstein holds the title of president of baseball operations and Jed Hoyer is the GM. The Dodgers have Andrew Friedman as their president of baseball operations and Farhan Zaidi in the GM role.
In each of those cases, the president of baseball operations oversees all the baseball decisions and has the final say. The same will be true in Cleveland, where the roles of Antonetti, Chernoff and Falvey are virtually the same after the title changes.
Antonetti will continue to fill the kind of role he did as GM, though now Chernoff and Falvey will have increased responsibilities. For the past several seasons, Chernoff (as assistant GM) and Falvey (as director of baseball operations) already assisted in a number of ways, including in contract negotiations, roster decisions and more.
"I'll still be involved day-to-day in baseball operations," Antonetti explained during a sit-down with reporters on Tuesday in Cleveland. "The way our group works is there's no one person that kind of leads baseball operations. We have a very collaborative work environment, and that extends beyond just our front office group, down to the Major League coaching staff and [manager Terry Francona]. That will continue."
The promotions come in the wake of former Indians team president Mark Shapiro's decision to fill the same role in Toronto with the Blue Jays. Shapiro, who worked as the Indians' GM before Antonetti, took over that role prior to the 2011 season, oversaw both the business and baseball operations as team president. Antonetti will leave the business aspects to Dolan and others on that side of the front office.
"This does not affect our business operations at all," Antonetti said.
Dolan said at the end of August that Shapiro's role was a "unique arrangement" for the Indians.
"There's now this development of 'president to baseball operations,'" Dolan said. "But that's clearly on the baseball side of the ledger. It's rather unique for a baseball GM to move over to be overall team president with business and baseball reporting to him. That's a reflection of Mark's unique skills and interests."
The 41-year-old Antonetti served as GM for five seasons and has been in Cleveland's organization since 1999. Under his watch, the Indians reached the postseason as a Wild Card team in 2013 and have had three consecutive winning seasons (2013-15) with Francona at the helm. Antonetti also oversaw the signings of players like Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco to long-term extensions.
Chernoff, 34, has been with the Indians for 12 seasons, serving as Antonetti's assistant GM since October 2010. The 32-year-old Falvey has been with Cleveland for eight seasons, including the last four as the club's director of baseball operations.
"Chris will continue to work closely with [Francona], overseeing the direction of all our baseball decision-making," Dolan said, "while Mike and Derek now hold titles that better align with responsibilities they have already largely assumed in our ongoing efforts to develop members of our organization.
"I am encouraged that their leadership presence in our front office provides us with continuity and contributes positively to the culture of growth we have worked hard to build across our organization."