The Dodgers have spent the last few offseasons creating a top-notch stable of coaches and executives. When you have as many as the Dodgers have, your bound to have some poached by other teams. This was certainly the case during this offseason, as the Dodgers had four lured away by other organizations. The four include Alex Anthopoulos, Gabe Kapler, Josh Bard, and Juan Castro.
Alex Anthopoulos has been working within baseball since the early 2000’s, and was formerly the general of the Toronto Blue Jays. Anthopoulos did well in that position, building the Blue Jays into contenders and acquiring eventual AL MVP Josh Donaldson. He was named Sporting News Executive of the Year in 2015, but despite his success turned down an extension from the Blue Jays. Anthopoulos was hired by the Dodgers as their Vice President of Baseball Operations in January of 2016. He served under team president Andrew Friedman for two seasons before being hired by the Atlanta Braves as General Manager in November of 2017.
Can report now Anthopoulos is getting #Braves GM job, announcement possible at GM Meetings
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 13, 2017
Anthopoulos brought a lot of excitement to Atlanta, as noted by former Dodgers Nation writer and current reporter at AJC Gabe Burns.
Anthopoulos brings a needed fresh voice and perspective to a once proud franchise that saw its brand tarnished by widespread infractions committed by the previous regime. He’s proven he can build a contender and spent the past two seasons working alongside some of the brightest minds in the game. More than anything, the Braves needed a stabilizing presence who’s been there before. Anthopoulos is an ideal modern-day executive who says he strives to find a balance between the human element and analytics.
The Dodgers still had Anthopoulos negotiating with other GMs, so he’s maintained relationships while having more time to learn behind the scenes. The Braves have historically hired those with ties to the team, so to not only go outside the organization, but give Anthopoulos complete control, is unprecedented. Having already been a successful GM, then contributing to what’s becoming a model franchise in the National League, Anthopoulos’ resume was an easy sell. It’ll be interesting to see how he transitions the Braves from rebuild to contention.
Anthopoulos also gave his thoughts on his time in LA during a sit-down with Burns.
“I left Toronto, and as you can imagine, the day the news broke my phone exploded,” he said. “But I’m grateful that I had a lot of phone calls from teams. You don’t take lightly being offered a job, especially from a big-league team. I was excited that the Dodgers called, and some other teams that I really respected and wanted to work with called. Ultimately, (Los Angeles) was going to be the best fit for me. But I’m lucky I had a choice.”
“I expected to be there a long period of time,” he said. “That’s why we moved as a family. We wanted to be all in. I wouldn’t want to just sit at home and commute while waiting for my next job. That’s not how I do things. When you’re involved, you’re involved. I didn’t want to look at something else. It almost felt too short, to be honest with you. I was really starting to like L.A., settle into L.A., but I mean, this opportunity was one I wasn’t going to turn down. At the end of the day, you can’t dictate when these opportunities present themselves.”
Next on the list is Gabe Kapler, who is a former Major League outfielder that played 12 seasons in the bigs. When his playing career ended, Kapler spent a couple seasons as a coach and as an analyst for Fox Sports 1. In November of 2014, Kapler was hired by the Dodgers as the Director of Player Development. He did well in that role, helping the Dodgers develop one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Kapler was a finalist for the Dodgers managerial position prior to the 2016 season, before the job was eventually given to Dave Roberts. After two more seasons in the Dodgers organization, he was hired by the Phillies to be their manager on October 30th, 2017.
Phillies announce hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 30, 2017
Josh Bard is a former Major League catcher, who played 10 seasons in the MLB. Bard finished his playing career in the Dodgers organization, and upon retirement stayed with the Dodgers as a special assistant. He was eventually named Bullpen Coach on Dave Roberts’ staff prior to the 2016 season, a role he held for two years. In his two seasons, he helped transform the Dodgers bullpen from shaky to one of the best in baseball in 2017. He also helped in reviving the careers of guys like Joe Blanton and Brandon Morrow in their time with the Dodgers. After the 2017 season, Bard accepted a job as bench coach on Aaron Boone’s staff with the New York Yankees. Bard seems to be on the path to one day become a manager himself.
Josh Bard, 39, will be #Yankees bench coach, sources tell The Athletic. Spent last two seasons as #Dodgers’ bullpen coach, three before that as pro scout and special asst in LAD front office. Teammate of Boone’s with #Indians in ‘05. Possibility first mentioned by @KenDavidoff.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2017
Juan Castro is a former Major League infielder who played 17 seasons. He had three stints with the Dodgers, with the third being his final season as a player. After his playing career ended, Castro became a special assistant with the Dodgers. Then, in 2016 he was added to the Major League coaching staff as a Quality Assurance Coach. Like Bard, Castro spent two seasons in his role on the Dodgers coaching staff. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Castro was hired by the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League as the Director of Operations.
I’m sorry to hear Juan Castro has left #Dodgers for an opportunity to be Director of Operations for Tijuana Toros. Juan is a great guy!
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) December 12, 2017
All four of the departed Dodgers will be missed within the organization. Best of luck to all of them with their new positions!
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