Ned Colletti’s nine-year tenure as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers came to an end Tuesday, but his time with the Dodgers marches on.
Colletti will now serve as a special advisor to CEO and team president Stan Kasten, and what exactly that entails isn’t yet known. Colletti may still have a voice in personnel moves, though it presumably won’t carry as much weight as it has.
While Colletti was essentially relieved of his GM duties, he’s taking the change, one which Kasten refutes is a demotion, in stride, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
If you want to let pride and ego get in the way, yeah, you could write that,” before Kasten interjected, “Wait. We’ve discussed that. It’s a moving-over.”
Colletti also said he’s looking forward to still being held accountable:
They believe I have a chance to continue to impact this organization in a positive way. That’s good enough. I want to work. I want to be accountable. I want to be responsible. You know what? Nine years is a long time, especially these nine years because it hasn’t always been smooth as glass.”
During Colletti’s tenure as GM, the Dodgers reached the postseason in three of his first four seasons, and five times overall — including back-to-back NL West titles in 2013 and 2014. Colletti navigated his way through a dark period for the franchise as Frank McCourt’s final years were marred by his divorce and financial troubles.
Under the Guggenheim ownership group, Colletti was afforded more flexibility by virtue of a seemingly endless money supply. He quickly orchestrated the trade with the Boston Red Sox that brought Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez out west, along with over $200 million in payroll, which signaled to fans money wasn’t an object if it meant winning.
While Colletti built competitive teams, he faced heavy criticism due to a combination of unfortunate decisions and inability to land bullpen help at this season’s trading deadline. However, that fault is two-fold as the Dodgers were set on not trading any of their top three prospects (Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias) and as it was later revealed, Zach Lee, which didn’t sit well with potential trade partners.
Whether Friedman assumes the GM role as he did with Tampa Bay, or makes a new hire, the expectations will be same that Colletti faced — win a World Series at essentially all costs.