In professional baseball, the position of director of baseball operations (DBO) is one of the major executive positions within the structure of a club's front office. The DBO oversees all players and other on-field personnel throughout the club's major league roster, minor league system, instructional system and international training camps, commonly in coordination with a club's general manager.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for general and operational managers in spectator sports is $114,250. DBO's employed by one of major league baseball's 30 franchise-member clubs can earn considerably more. Lower level executive experience in baseball, excellent communication skills and a good rapport with players and coaches can increase the salary for potential candidates. However, no factor influences the wage scale of a director of baseball operations as much as the success of his club on the field.
While the General Manager in a baseball organization is largely charged with evaluating talent, the Director of Baseball Operation's main duty is to oversee the budgetary systems necessary to keep players under contract, in addition to negotiating business contracts for player training, medical personnel and equipment and playing equipment. The DBO also designs and initiates player training programs throughout the entire club, which may be reliant on particular styles of play, classes of technique, or particular offensive and defensive strategies. Similar training at the lower levels of a club ensures symmetry between all players when and if they reach the major league level.
Dynamics of the Position
The requirements of upper management and executive leadership in baseball have undergone a significant transformation throughout the last decade. In the early years of professional baseball, a resolute knowledge of the game and keen eye for players were the main requirements of the role. Today's candidates as Directors of Baseball Operations must combine this knowledge and love of the game and be well-versed in organization management techniques, contemporary business economics, budgeting systems, analytical evaluation tools and leadership strategy.
Relevelant Background & Experience
Modern directors of baseball operations come from diverse backgrounds, both athletically and business-wise. They range from former ivy league scholars to major league players, accomplished businessmen and successful executives. Today's DBO's are required to train and motivate large staffs of professionals and players across large geographic barriers, a task that requires expert leadership skills, interpersonal communication skills and the ability to manage successfully in high-stress environments.