THURSDAY: The Dodgers have announced the pair of signings. Zaidi will assume the role of general manager, while Byrnes has been named the senior vice president of baseball operations.
“It is very exciting for us to be able to add two exceptional, veteran baseball executives like Farhan and Josh,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in the press release. “Farhan’s primary focus will be the Major League team and player acquisitions while Josh will concentrate on the oversight of scouting and player development. However, they will both work closely with me on all aspects of baseball operations in our efforts to make the Dodgers’ front office and team the best it can possibly be.”
TUESDAY: The Dodgers will name former Athletics assistant GM Farhan Zaidi the team’s new general manager this week, according to a tweet from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Zaidi, 37, had been with Oakland for ten years and was promoted just before last season.
The club is also set to add former Diamondbacks and Padres GM Josh Byrnes, Mark Saxon of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Though it is not yet known what position he will hold, his addition is a “done deal,” per Saxon.
Combined, the addition of the well-regarded Zaidi and experienced Byrnes represent major additions to the front office of new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Zaidi’s former boss, Billy Beane, credits him with a brilliant and creative mind, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in a profile. According to Slusser, Zaidi was instrumental in bringing Yoenis Cespedes to Oakland and in maximizing value through platoons.
A Muslim Canadian who grew up in the Philippines, it goes without saying that Zaidi does not have a typical background for a baseball executive. But his analytical background — he has an undergraduate degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. in behavioral economics from Cal-Berkeley — ultimately won him a chance with the A’s, and he never looked back. In spite of his background, Zaidi is known as a proponent of utilizing traditional scouting and focusing on tools in identifying talent.