As reported by Peter Gammons on Twitter very early Friday morning, the Cubs have hired former big-league pitcher Aaron Sele in an as-yet-unknown role. Sele retired in 2007 after a 15-year career, then took a year off before transitioning into a coaching role with the Dodgers. He remained in the LA organization for nine years, then took a job with the Marlins as a special assignment scout.
Aaron Sele carries respect through all the baseball community, left the Marlins ten days ago because of a lack of said respect, and is already hired by the Cubs.
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 25, 2019
That gig didn’t last long, as Sele was released from his contract with the Marlins per his request on January 17. Ken Rosenthal was among those to report the latest in a Miami exodus that also saw pro scouting director Jim Cuthbert and special assignment scout Willie Fraser leave the organization. As Gammons tweeted at the time, no one in baseball was surprised by Sele’s departure.
Turnover continues with #Marlins. Special assignment scout Aaron Sele, the former pitcher, was released from his contract at his request, sources tell The Athletic. In Oct., MIA cut ties with pro scouting director Jim Cuthbert and special assignment scout Willie Fraser left club.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 17, 2019
It’s at least a little interesting that this is the second pitching-related hire the Cubs have made involving a former Marlins employee. Last November, they brought in Jim Benedict as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations with a focus on pitching development. There’s really no connection between the two, though, as their respective Marlins tenures overlapped by merely a week. Although I guess Sele and Benedict serve as indicators that respected baseball minds don’t want anything to do with Derek Jeter’s Miami circus.
This move may also be significant in light of the recent admission that the Cubs are trying to be more aggressive with drafting and player development, particularly when it comes to pitching. Sele was part of a Dodgers system that produced a decent arm or three over the last decade, and he’s honed his skills as a scout in that time.
Apropos of nothing, he was actually in South Bend to scout various Cubs and Brewers scouts when I was there in mid-July. There wasn’t much to see as far as the home team’s pitchers were concerned, but Sele was able to bear witness to Nico Hoerner’s second professional home run.
Though it’s not known in exactly what capacity Sele will operate with the Cubs, it’s safe to assume he’ll remain in sort of scouting/instructional role. Perhaps he’ll be reporting to Benedict. Either way, this is yet another move aimed at turning over stones and trying to find new competitive advantages. The too-many-cooks idea doesn’t really apply to baseball, or so it seems.
Just for esses and gees, here’s a video of former Cub George Bell — who was traded to the South Side for Sammy Sosa — charging the mound after Sele beaned him in the head. And this was after a high, hard one nearly grazed Bell’s hands. A bench-clearing brawl between the White and Red Sox ensued, with Mo Vaughn predictably wrecking shop.