Ken Rosenthal reported for The Athletic today (subscription required) that the Giants are hellbent on making a huge move for their front office hire. That means a current high profile and top of the market general manager / President of Baseball Operations like Theo Epsstein, Andrew Friedman, Dave Dombrowksi, or David Stearns. Problem is, and as Rosenthal notes, “such a high-profile executive does not appear to be available.” Does that mean the Giants’ search has hit a snag?
The tone of Rosenthal’s article strongly suggests that’s the case. Larry Baer wants a name brand to take the helm — the team wants to get a huge reaction from the industry through their hire. They want to simply get lucky like they did with Bruce Bochy, where the Padres were willing to let him out of his contract to manage another team. That approach is one being driven by someone who’s not “a baseball man” so he’s looking for safety in branding.
I might not think that’s the best way to go — it means that at present, the search is not about finding “the best person for the job” but all about finding “the best person for selling the success of the search for the best person for the job” — but if it is the angle, then why not make a big wave by hiring two accomplished and surprising names such as Kim Ng and Chaim Bloom?
As Rosenthal reminds us at the end of his report, the Giants might still possibly hire two front office execs — a president of baseball operations and a GM — so if you can’t make one big splash, why not create one in the aggregate? Or is that too much like Moneyball?
Thing is, that’s a real marketing success story right there. The Giants would be the first baseball team to hire a woman to be its general manager. Kim Ng brings years of international scouting, baseball operations, and contract experience to the job as well as all her longstanding baseball relationships from her vast experience — she’d be a natural GM and the daily face of the team.
Chaim Bloom would need to receive a promotion to President of Baseball Operations in order for Tampa Bay to allow him to leave and that’s why I’m touting the Bloom-Ng hierarchy rather than the reverse — though, maybe I’m overestimating Tampa Bay’s investment in him — but his age and his ability to innovate and compete in a low revenue market means that he and Ng will have essentially have all facets of a baseball front office covered.
Of course, the Giants might want to hire a president first and allow them to select their general manager, but by trying to simply land a big name, the Giants are showing a degree of naivety and incorrigibility that might be better used to bring aboard two really great candidates. Farhan Zaidi might be available and there’s no question he’s a strong candidate — but how much longer can the Giants afford to wait to start their future?
The Mets thought outside the box and grabbed themselves a sports agent. Two fantastic candidates dropped in the Giants laps and neither of them are agents but instead well-respected and successful baseball executives. Chaim Bloom. Kim Ng. Splash.