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Farhan Zaidi has 24 hours to accept baseball’s most dangerous mission, per report

Will the Giants land the brain genius who helped remake the A’s and the Dodgers?

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jon Morosi is at it again, following up on his own report from yesterday about the Giants targeting Farhan Zaidi for their head of baseball operations. I said then that the report was a little bit vague because of sourcing, but this latest tweet is much more clear:

After this morning’s update that saw other reporters chiming in with their own confirmations, I raised our alert level to DUE DILIGENCE / HIGH ALERT.

We don’t yet have confirmation from the team or a source close to the team (I’m already planning to strikethrough all this with a supporting tweet), but Morosi would be taking a pretty big swing that’d be well outside of his journalist persona to make such a claim if he or his source weren’t sure this was the case, so let’s focus on the facts:

My goodness... we’re well beyond the alert system here. We’re in the endgame now.

The Giants want to hurt the Dodgers and they’re willing to upend a generation of work to do it. The team needs to evolve if it’s going to survive, but with so many big names with successful track records still within the organization and a marketing guru who’s very good at protecting the brand running the search committee, there was a very good chance the Giants were going to make cosmetic changes.

Instead, they’re going to embrace the “analytics” of modern baseball, perhaps to the chagrin of a sizable portion of their season ticket base and many of those big, successful names within the organization. But Farhan Zaidi is not a hatchet man and he’s not a sentient computer who’s going to feast on human heat to more efficiently process StatCast data.

If you read Andy McCullough’s write up on him from last year, you’ll learn that Zaidi takes a holistic approach to front office management. He doesn’t hate scouts, he embraces them, and all he’s doing — the thing that scares the John Smoltzes of the world more than anything — is bringing a fresh point of view to an old game. We’ll be getting into his background some more should he accept the offer. In the meantime, let’s talk about the offer...

Morosi’s source revealing the presence of a “decision clock” suggests the team wants to wrap this up just as the GM meetings end so that the new hire can take everything learned and jump right in to fixing the organization. There’s not much time left for Baer to wait for an answer and it makes all the sense in the world that the “point of no return” for being able to start a process to work on 2019 is the end of these meetings.

The Giants need a lot of work. They’re going to insist the new baseball operation “win and develop”. To that end, Baer can’t afford to let Zaidi or fallback option (as rumored this morning) Chaim Bloom return to their respective teams and spend one extra moment in that headspace — he needs a Giant-thinking person in there right away.

The way this has played out strongly suggests that Zaidi has been Baer’s man all along. We’ll find out if his “wait and see” gambit paid off.

3:57pm UPDATE:

Per this tweet from Andrew Baggarly:

This feels like news that could have been reported earlier in conjunction with the other reports — for instance, at the end of Morosi or Sherman’s tweets “should be noted: Zaidi not at GM mtgs” — but that just means few national baseball writers decided to make the trip to luxurious Carlsbad, CA.

And, yeah, it absolutely means that this is it. Hopefully, Zaidi is just crossing Ts and dotting lower case Js and preparing to come back to the Bay Area.