With the hiring of Andrew Friedman as the president of baseball operations, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been lauded for prying one of baseball’s top executives out of Tampa Bay.
The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim failed in their pursuit of Friedman, but the resources that the Guggenheim Baseball Partners offer was perhaps too much to turn down for the 37-year-old. Friedman’s position in the Dodgers’ front office allows for him to hire a general manager and determine the course of action for manager Don Mattingly.
Amid reports Josh Byrnes is a leading candidate to join the Dodgers’ front office, Friedman vaguely said Friday the team has held conversations with several people, and confirmed Mattingly would return in 2015.
The Dodgers have previously gone down the sabermetrics road when they hired Paul DePodesta as general manager in a decision that didn’t necessarily pan out as hoped. While Friedman is cut from a similar “Moneyball” cloth, it’s not a label he identifies with.
“I don’t pay much attention to it,” Friedman said. “I think information is king. I think analytics is very important. I think scouting reports are incredibly important. I think makeup information and getting a feel for what makes someone tick — all of those things are incredibly important to me in the decision-making process.”
Gathering information and analyzing it is something Friedman has excelled in, which doesn’t come as a surprise given his background in the financial industry. Along with dismissing the notion he’s purely relies on analytics, Friedman routinely stressed he would be open to different schools of thought and approaches.
While Friedman worked under a budget of sorts with the Rays, the same won’t necessarily hold true in Los Angeles. Yes, there’s been talk of focusing on the development of homegrown talent, but even Friedman suggested the Dodgers would still be players in the free agent market.
With his introduction to Los Angeles out of the way, Friedman can focus on matters pertaining to the roster, coaching staff and front office. He said meetings with Mattingly and Ned Colletti would be held in the coming days, but wasn’t sure when a new general manager would be in place.
Dodgers Introduce Andrew Friedman As President Of Baseball Operations