While the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to make any sort of splash in free agency, one of the team’s responses to being eliminated in the National League Division Series was an overhaul of the front office.
Andrew Friedman was hired away from the Tampa Bay Rays as the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations — a new role specifically created for him. The Friedman hire came with the reassigning of Ned Colletti from general manager to special advisor to Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten.
Friedman had the authority to hire a new GM and could have tapped himself for a dual role if he so desired. Instead, the Dodgers handed the reins to Farhan Zaidi, who left the Oakland Athletics after 10 seasons. Also part of the new front office is Josh Byrnes, senior vice president of baseball operations.
Although the Dodgers aren’t the only team to house a front office full of numerous executives, Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart referenced their new hierarchy as one that comes with confusion, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports:
I wouldn’t say it’s a complicated situation over there,” Stewart says, “but if I’m calling over there and talking to the Dodgers, I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be talking to. There’s a bit of a gray area. They’ve got a whole lot of people over there, with a lot of layers.”
Prior to accepting a position with the Diamondbacks, Stewart previously served as Chad Billingsley’s and Matt Kemp’s agent, among others. Stewart and the Dodgers went through somewhat of a contentious period of time prior to the trade deadline as he was open with his desire they trade Kemp.
In a statement that coincided with the Byrnes and Zaidi hires, Friedman said Byrnes would primarily focus on scouting and player development with Zaidi focusing on matters pertaining to the Major League team; though he added they would certainly collaborate.
Ultimately, Friedman and the other executives report to Kasten, who also has experience as a GM and overseeing successful teams. The Dodgers’ hiring spree has resulted in them owning a crowded but formidable front office that will look to get the organization its first World Series since 1988.