Much has been made of the revamped Los Angeles Dodgers front office and the direction they may be moving in. Given the background of the new hires, analytics figures to be heavily incorporated but both president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, and general manager, Farhan Zaidi have indicated multiple approaches will be utilized.
As was the case with the Friedman hire, the Dodgers surprised some when they lured Zaidi away from the Oakland Athletics. Zaidi spent the previous 10 years working under Billy Beane and he’s now tasked with being the front man responsible for guiding a team with World Series aspirations.
While Friedman and Zaidi have never worked together, the new Dodgers’ GM spoke of Friedman’s willingness to listen to other opinions and briefly mentioned one example that involves a current player, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
In discussions with Friedman over the last week, Zaidi said he was even able to change Friedman’s mind about a current member of the Dodgers’ roster, though understandably Zaidi did not want to reveal the player.
Zaidi went on to credit Friedman for his open mind and believes it will lead to a productive work environment in Los Angeles:
Andrew is very open-minded. I have changed his mind and vice versa,” Zaidi explained. “Once you have that, and people to be open-minded and to be convinced of things, that’s when you know this kind of process can work.”
Given the Dodgers crowded outfield, it can be presumed one of them is who Zaidi refused to identify. It’s known Andre Ethier wasn’t particularly pleased with his role last season and manager Don Mattingly said a resolution needed to be reached this offseason.
With the Dodgers’ outfielders under contract for 2015 and beyond, trading one of the likely candidates — Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier — would likely require the team to pay a significant portion of the remaining salary.