The Giants have replaced general manager Bobby Evans — who was fired weeks ago — with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants have announced. Throughout the day, word was the Giants had offered Zaidi the job of president of baseball operations but that he was mulling the offer. He has since decided to be the man in charge for the first time in his career.
Zaidi was previously the assistant general manager to Billy Beane with the A’s and for the past four seasons has been the general manager of the Dodgers, though he was reporting to club president Andrew Friedman. Zaidi is now the boss.
What he’ll bring to the Giants is likely a shift in approach. The old regime of the Giants — while every front office in baseball has an “analytics” department — was definitely one of the more old-school groups remaining in baseball. Zaidi comes from two organizations that are as new school as any.
An interesting sub-story here is Zaidi obviously knows a lot about the Dodgers organization, from the personnel to how they evaluate players and much more. Now he’s in charge of their biggest and longest-standing rival.
The Giants are in a weird position. They haven’t contended with this group the last two years. Now, the following players are all at least 30 years old and locked up through at least 2021: Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Johnny Cueto, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt. Jeff Samardzija, 33, is locked up through 2020. Also, Madison Bumgarner is set to hit free agency after next season. With not much on the way from the farm, it really seems like the Giants are on their last legs with this championship core.
With that and Zaidi’s background in mind, it feels like we’ll see some creativity in a bit of a rebuild on the fly here. He’s not the type to go with a “band-aid-on-broken-leg” approach like the Giants tried last winter. Surely Posey would never be traded, but could Zaidi get some value and clear money by dealing some of the other names above?
He had better figure it out quickly. The hot stove is upon us, with CC Sabathia re-signing with the Yankees on Tuesday night.
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