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 — Nov. 5
- There are increasing indications that the Giants would like to hire Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi. Morosi cites a rival official for the proposition that the San Francisco organization is “prepared to offer a position” to Zaidi, who has worked alongside president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman for the past four seasons. (Twitter link.) An unnamed source tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter) that Zaidi is the “top choice” of the Giants’ brass, with Bloom “seen as a fallback.” At this point, though, it remains unclear whether Zaidi is interested in moving over from the rival Dodgers.
Click to review other candidates and prior updates to the Giants’ front office search:
- The Giants have interest in Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweeted earlier this week, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required) that Zaidi is “likely” to interview with San Francisco. While it would be certainly interesting to see such a major executive jump between the two NL West arch-rivals, clubs generally don’t stand in the way of front office employees interviewing for jobs that would offer a promotion — Zaidi would be the head man in San Francisco, whereas Zaidi is behind Andrew Friedman on the Dodgers’ baseball operations hierarchy. Rosenthal speculates that Los Angeles could give Zaidi a raise to keep him in the fold. Zaidi joined the Dodgers following the 2014 season and his contract terms aren’t known, though since Friedman’s deal is up after the 2019 season, it stands to reason that Zaidi may also only have one more year remaining on his pact.
- 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.
- 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 and was a finalist for the just-filled Mets opening. 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 recently interviewed, according to MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko, and has also been mentioned in the Orioles and Mets front office searches.
- 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.”
- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle 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.
Not Under Consideration
- Prior Giants farm director David Bell was believed to be an in-house option to take over as head of baseball operations, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted. But Schulman later tweeted that Bell “apparently” was no longer a candidate to become the Giants’ head of baseball ops. Ultimately, he took over as Reds manager.
- 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.