There’s a lot of hype and questions surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers latest hire in the front office.
On Tuesday they announced Andrew Friedman as the new President of Baseball Operations after convincing him to leave the Tampa Bay Rays. His hiring coincided with Ned Colletti being moved from general manager to senior advisor to Stan Kasten. Fellow advisor Gerry Hunsicker worked with Friedman in Tampa Bay as his mentor before joining the Dodgers.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Hunsicker believes Friedman has a lot of strong qualities:
What Andrew brings to the table is the versatility and ability to work with everyone, from the 40-year veteran baseball man to the newer, metric-oriented, analytical-oriented new kid on the block,” said Hunsicker. “He has the understanding and respect for the traditions of the game that came before him and the uncanny ability to meld information from every source to arrive at the best decision.”
Friedman built the Rays into a playoff contender and even built the team that reached the World Series in 2008. He did all of this with one of the game’s smallest payrolls. With the Dodgers he now will have one of, if not, the largest payroll in baseball.
Hunsicker isn’t worried about the big change because he says Friedman can thrive anywhere:
His game plan will work in any market,” said Hunsicker, who was a general manager in New York and Houston. “There is a different pressure in a big market from a small market. People don’t have much patience in this business. Everybody wants to win. There will be some transition, but Andrew will evaluate and develop a plan, not just for the next year, but like he did in Tampa Bay, to be successful year in and year out.
The Dodgers can hope that Hunsicker is right and the team becomes a blueprint for success.