With the departure of Farhan Zaidi, the Dodgers are in unfamiliar territory. And so, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman spoke publicly of this territory for the first time. Equally important, Friedman told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register how tough it was to lose Zaidi to the division rival Giants.
“It was certainly less comfortable than it would have been in the other five divisions,” Friedman said of Zaidi’s move to a division rival. “Just organizationally, my own personal philosophy, I think it’s important to let people pursue opportunities that make sense for them and their family. This fell under that umbrella – unfortunately for us.
Still, Friedman sounds as though the role could be filled internally.
“It’s obviously a big loss, personally and professionally. But we’ve got a lot of talented guys who will get more opportunity and responsibility. Yeah, I wish it would have been one of the other five divisions.”
Will the Dodgers look to immediately name a new general manager? It sounds as if this decision is ongoing.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said of replacing Zaidi. “Farhan was strongly deliberating over the weekend up to yesterday. There was so much going on that I didn’t really start to wrap my arms around it. Now I will. But I’m not concerned about the near-term workflow with the guys that we have. There are going to be some guys who are going to step up and do more which is great.”
Friedman spoke towards the importance of ‘not forcing it’ in terms of naming an immediate replacement. One would agree – that decisions are best made after a period of closure has taken place. The Dodgers will give this some time before making that decision like any good business out there.
First Look, Farhan Zaidi in San Francisco
Farhan era begins pic.twitter.com/U5rD3kGoTK
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 7, 2018
Friedman spoke more towards the loss of Zaidi as he was introduced in San Francisco. One can gain a degree of respect for Friedman as he served his colleague in an ethical way rather than with selfish advising.
Friedman said he tried to “not let my bias get in the way of my advice” while discussing the Giants’ offer with Zaidi the past few days. The Dodgers will miss his “creativity, work ethic, just the ability to connect with people.”
Possible Replacements Mentioned
There are three names in the mix – and in the article of reference to keep filed away. Senior VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, director of baseball scouting and development Alex Slater, and director of player development Brandon Gomes.
Friedman’s comments on Zaidi’s replacement seem to point towards an internal candidate taking the reigns if anyone is to do so in the near-term. Conversely, two members of the Oakland Athletics front office were also mentioned as possible fits. Billy Owens (assistant GM/director of player personnel) and Dan Feinstein (assistant GM/pro scouting and player personnel) are the two key players who could become relevant as time marches on.
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