At the end of a disappointing 2018 campaign, the Giants decided it was time to shake up the leadership of the baseball operations department. President of baseball operations Brian Sabean will work to find replacements for himself and Bobby Evans, who had held the general manager role. It’s the end of a successful era in San Francisco that culminated in three World Series championships in a five-year span. Whoever takes the reins will be put in charge of one of the game’s most venerable, highest-budget franchises, and tasked with implementing the strategic pitch that wins them the job.
Equal parts opportunity and challenge await a new ops boss. Here’s the latest on the search:
Latest Update — Oct. 20
- Schulman now tweets that Bell “apparently” isn’t a candidate to become the Giants’ head of baseball ops.
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the Giants are believed to be considering current farm director David Bell as an in-house option to take over as head of baseball operations. At least one and maybe a few teams that are pursuing Bell as a potential managerial candidate are monitoring his situation in San Francisco.
- Schulman also speculates that the Giants will speak with Astros’ Assistant GM Mike Elias for their head of baseball ops opening now that Houston has been eliminated from the playoffs. Fancred’s Jon Heyman had suggested previously that Elias might be a name the Giants would consider if moving towards a more analytically-inclined candidate.
Earlier Updates — Oct. 16
- Cubs senior VP of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod interviewed last week with the San Francisco organization, per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. McLeod has long been seen as a strong candidate to lead a baseball operations department, though he has thus far remained content in his significant role with the Cubs. Levine adds that McLeod’s five-year contract already pays him “close to $1 million annually.”
Click to review prior updates to the Giants’ front office search:
- The Giants have interviewed Diamondbacks senior vice president of baseball operations/assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). The interview seemingly went well, as Nightengale adds that the 41-year-old Sawdaye is expected to be among the finalists for the position. Sawdaye has been with the D-backs in his current role for two seasons and was previously an integral part of the Red Sox’ front office, where he most recently oversaw the team’s international and amateur scouting efforts. During his time in that role, the Sox drafted the likes of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Travis Shaw, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Matt Barnes.
- The Giants’ list is still largely under wraps, but there are at least four other names under consideration. Per Jon Heyman of Fancred, the club is taking a look at Rays senior VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, Brewers assistant GM Matt Arnold, and Dodgers exec Josh Byrnes. Meanwhile, the Giants will interview league executive Kim Ng, Chris Haft of MLB.com reports. Bloom has paired with Erik Neander atop the Tampa Bay baseball ops hierarchy. Arnold came from the Rays organization to Milwaukee to serve as a wingman to GM David Stearns. Those two mid-thirties execs are part of a class of rising talents; Byrnes, on the other hand, has already sat in the GM chair for two organizations (the D-Backs and Padres). If hired, Ng would become the first female GM in the history of the majors. Formerly with the Dodgers, Yankees and White Sox, Ng has been a legitimate GM candidate with other clubs. She’s also on the Mets’ radar at the moment.
Other Potential Candidates
- Astros AGM Mike Elias might also suit the Giants’ stated preference for an analytically inclined presence in the front office, Heyman suggests. It is not strictly evident whether Elias is actively being considered by the San Francisco hiring team, though certainly it stands to reason he’d get a look. Elias runs the Houston scouting operation — which, of course, encompasses not only traditional means of amateur player assessment but also a heavy dose of analytics.
Not Under Consideration
- Ben Cherington, an executive with the Blue Jays and former GM of the Red Sox, will not pursue the open position with the Giants, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). The phrasing of the report seemingly indicates that he was seen as a candidate by the San Francisco organization. Rosenthal says, though, that Cherington would only be intrigued by an opportunity to “build an organization from [the] ground up.” Previously, of course, Cherington was knocked from the perch in Boston after a short run in which he oversaw both champion and cellar-dwelling rosters for the large-budget franchise.
- Not surprisingly, the Brewers have rejected the Giants’ request to interview GM David Stearns, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter). Given the successes of the Milwaukee organization since Stearns took the helm, it stands to reason that owner Mark Attanasio is more interested in discussing a new contract with the youthful executive than in allowing him to chat with other organizations.