When the San Francisco Giants hired former Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi to take over as the team’s President of Baseball Operations, it marked a wholesale change in the organization. Zaidi — along with Brian Sabean and Larry Baer — would hire a GM, and presumably a new crop of assistants and advisers in the front office.
The team is still without the GM, but they’re in the process of adding a nice name to the organization, as reports say that they are finalizing a deal with J.P. Ricciardi, who would become a senior adviser.
Sources: Former Blue Jays GM and Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi is finalizing a deal to join the San Francisco Giants in a senior advisor role. Good landing spot for him and good way for Farhan Zaidi to start building out his front office.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 3, 2018
Ricciardi certainly has a resume. He was the Director of Player Personnel for the Oakland Athletics alongside Billy Beane, and from 2001 until 2009 served as GM for the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a turbulent time there, famously preferring Ricky Romero over Troy Tulowitzki in the 2005 draft — much to his scouts’ collective dismay — while also getting into a public spat with Frank Thomas and letting Alex Rios go on waivers to the White Sox for nothing.
He started that tenure, though, with a teardown of its system to replace it with a more analytics-driven and forward-thinking organizational philosophy. Bruce Bochy is no Buck Martinez, but firing Martinez was one of Ricciardi’s first calls in the org switchover.
From 2010 until last month, Ricciardi was a special assistant with the New York Mets. Seven of those past nine years have seen Mets teams with sub-.500 records, but there was one World Series appearance in there, too. And he and Sandy Alderson worked for the Wilpons, who are not San Francisco Giants Baseball Associates, LLC.
He was also a minor leaguer in the Mets’ system back in the 1980s, a teammate of Billy Beane’s. Whether or not you have an opinion of Ricciardi, one thing is clear: He’s a quality name in baseball circles, and is clearly respected by the MLB community.
The timing of the move is ideal for the Giants. Without a GM yet, Ricciardi gives the team three members — he, Zaidi, and Sabean — who have GM experience. It’s safe to say they’ll be able to maneuver the offseason pretty decently, even without an official GM.