SEE BELOW FOR UPDATES.
There’s an introductory press conference scheduled for 1pm Wednesday, November 7th. At that time, we may learn about the team’s intentions regarding the general manager position. Zaidi will have a chance to add another creative and rising star talent to the front office.
The #sfgiants have a new head of baseball ops. Farhan Zaidi has taken the job, I’m told.— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) November 7, 2018
The Giants fired general manager Bobby Evans on September 24th. In that leadership vacuum, managing partner and team CEO Larry Baer made it clear that the organization would find a “next gen” mind to run baseball operations with the intention of catching the team up with 21st century industry standards that incorporate analytics into scouting and player development.
Larry Baer’s search has been kept mostly under wraps with only the occasional report about an interview having occurred. Neither he nor any official with the team has commented on any candidates or even any real specifics about the search. What we do know beyond his “next gen” comment is that the team in now way intends to rebuild. As he wrote in his season review message to fans:
Though we’re changing some personnel and practices, we’re not changing who we are. We will continue to invest deep resources into putting the best possible team on the field. Every move this off-season will be tested against one question: Will it help us win?
With all that in mind, let’s go back to our big board, the one put together from Alex Pavlovic’s initial candidate article published on October 2nd (bold candidates have or will be interviewed) and that I’ve been using for the past few weeks:
Jed Hoyer (CHC GM)
Farhan Zaidi (LAD GM)
David Stearns ( Brewers GM)
Mike Elias (Astros AGM)
Jason McLeod (Cubs VP Player Dev)
Mike Rizzo (WSN Pres Basell Ops, GM) Jean Afterman (NYY AGM) Ben Cherington ( Blue Jays VP Baseball Ops)
Kim Ng, (VP Baseball Ops, MLB)
Chaim Bloom (TB VP of Baseball Ops)
David Forst (A’s GM)
- Cherington removed himself from consideration and Mark Attanasio nixed a Stearns interview, but I’ve crossed off the others for various reasons:
- I had originally crossed Farhan Zaidi off the list because he was hired as LA’s GM at the end of 2014 — the Justice Department’s potential RICO case against the Dodgers for their crimes in Latin America hinges at least in part on “internal communications [...] regarding illegal activity [that] were from 2015 and 2016, after the Dodgers cleaned house — so he could be in legal hot water that might make hiring him more trouble than it’s worth. And then there’s the whole Dodger connection. Kim Ng has had some time to hose all that Dodger blue off her, but Zaidi is the Dodgers at the moment.
- Mike Rizzo doesn’t really fit the idea of “next gen” and if the Giants are going to go with a dude, then the pursuit of someone David Stearns’ age feels more appropriate. Rizzo might help land Harper and he might even hire that “next gen” guy, but he still has a year left on his deal and just seems like he’s very much of a baseball wave that’s about to pass.
- In Pavlovic’s own article, he mentions that his sources dismiss Jean Afterman’s candidacy.
- I can’t imagine the Giants would ever hire someone from the Oakland A’s. That would be tricky PR for a team that strenuously manages its own PR.
- Amiel Sawdaye should go up on that list since he did interview, and it will be interesting to see if any more surprise names wind up there.
- We never heard anything on the Jed Hoyer front, probably because he was a long shot.
But in just the past 24 hours we’ve learned so much. The Giants are targeting Zaidi. Chaim Bloom is the backup option. Who will it be? When will it happen? And what will the new head of baseball operations do to return the Giants to a winning franchise?