Indians To Announce Major Front Office Changes Today

Samantha BuntenAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 09:  Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with Asdrubal Cabrera #13 after winning the game against the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Indians defeated the White Sox 8-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Indians have called a press conference for 1:30 pm today, where they are expected to announce that GM Mark Shapiro will move to a new role as team president and Assistant GM Chris Antonetti will take over the GM role, effective after the 2010 season.

While the news has not been officially confirmed, it's expected to be announced at today's press conference.

For several years, Antonetti has quietly handled much of what would typically be considered the duties of a GM behind the scenes.  Shapiro has been grooming Antonetti for the role, and it appears the team now plans to make the move official.

The elephant in the room is, of course, the looming question: Is this a promotion or a demotion for Shapiro?

While on the surface it appears to be a step up for the current GM, Shapiro's many detractors may see this as a way for the Indians to kindly and quietly move him to a sort of puppet role, allowing Antonetti to try his hand at making the big decisions.

The Dolan-era Indians have always exhibited the utmost professionalism and kindness when making that sort of move, evident in their handling of the firing of Eric Wedge at the end of last season with kid gloves.

The move may be a promotion after all, or even perhaps a sort of lateral move for Shapiro.  If the Indians are attempting to remove Shapiro from his role as the team's premier decision maker, it would make sense that they would do it in this manner.

We may know more after the press conference today, and surely as the season progresses and Antonetti prepares to take on a larger role.  For now, though, all we know is that big changes are afoot for the Indians' front office.

What do you think, Tribe fans? Is Shapiro truly being promoted, or is this the Indians' subtle, careful way of taking away much of his decision-making power?  And how do you feel about Chris Antonetti as the new Indians GM?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!