Tigers hire ex-Apple exec to run analytics

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Tigers have tapped into the tech sector to lead their newly expanded analytics department. Jay Sartori, a former Blue Jays assistant general manager who most recently worked for Apple, will become the Tigers' senior director of baseball operations and analytics, MLB.com has learned. Fox Sports first reported the hire, which has not been officially announced.

Sartori joined Tigers officials at the Boca Raton hotel for the first day of baseball's General Managers Meetings. He'll take over an analytics department that has grown in both manpower and priority since Al Avila took over as general manager.

Sartori spent two years with Apple managing the sports and entertainment categories of its App Store. Before that, he spent three years with the Blue Jays handling arbitration, contract and rules dealings. His previous work includes a year as Nationals director of baseball operations and more time in Major League Baseball's Commissioner's Office working in labor negotiations.

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Sam Menzin, who has helped build the Tigers' analytics department as director of baseball operations, is expected to remain with the group, and was part of the Tigers' group at this week's Meetings. He told reporters last month that the team had hired two full-time employees and two part-time consultants.

The hires are part of Avila's effort to catch the Tigers up with other Major League clubs in analytics. The Tigers have also bulked up their Major League scouting department, so it appears the club will try a balanced approach to its thinking.

"Technology has changed a lot the last few years, and we had to catch up in that area and the tools that we're using to analyze players," Menzin said last month. "At the end of the day, I think it's a misconception that analytics means looking at players just statistically. The real point of it is combining data from your scouts, medical staff, player-development staff as well the performance and melding that together."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.