Hiring Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations began the shift for the Dodgers and it moved further in the sabermetrics direction with the hiring of Farhan Zaidi as general manager and Gabe Kapler as director of player development. Other front office additions include Josh Byrnes and Billy Gasparino.
While Zaidi joins the Dodgers after spending 10 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and renowned “Moneyball” man, Billy Beane, he carried a message similar to Friedman in his respective formal introduction to Los Angeles and that’s working cohesively, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
We all bring different strengths to the table, but this is baseball operations and Andrew is the point man. This is a big operation. He’s going to need a lot of help,” Zaidi said. “We’ve all worked in different circles and have different familiarity with people in baseball, including Josh. I don’t think we’ll have hard and fast rules with that. We’ll share the information, and go from there.”
Zaidi furthered his remarks by explaining the decision-making process he hopes to bring with him from Oakland:
In Oakland I worked with a general manager who was regarded as this high authority figure, and it was very collaborative there too,” Zaidi explained. “There was always a lot of discussion, a lot of debates. That’s why when I say collaboration it’s not a throw-away term; it’s what I’m used to. Everybody gets their say. It’s more building toward a consensus.”
When Friedman was formally introduced to the LA media, he brushed aside the notion he’s strictly an executive who relies on analytics and stressed that all information gathered was pertinent. Zaidi’s comments indicate a similar thought process, which will be key in aiding how cohesive the reassembled front office will operate.
Friedman’s hires come roughly three weeks after he accepted a position with the Dodgers and the group will need to hit the ground running as free agency has begun and GM meetings are scheduled next week.