The Los Angeles Dodgers hiring of Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations made waves as they not only successfully managed to lure Friedman out of Tampa Bay but it also represented somewhat of a shift in the organization’s thinking.
Friedman brings with him a strong background in the application of analytics and the Dodgers continued the trend by hiring Farhan Zaidi as general manager. Although the two executives are tied to the use of analytics, Friedman said it’s unfair to solely place that label on the Dodgers front office, via Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
I don’t think that’s necessarily fair (to pigeon-hole executives with analytics experience). I think all of these guys are incredibly well-rounded and have a lot of respect and appreciate what goes into making players and evaluating players. We’re going to have really strong, good, evaluative voices … and combine that with the objective information we’re able to generate.”
During his introductory press conference, Friedman also brushed aside the notion of being an executive that strictly depends on analytics. Friedman repeatedly said ‘information is king’ and he again emphasized carrying a broad scope when making decisions:
I think people who focus on one (approach) to the exclusion of the other … are not putting themselves in the best position to do what’s right for the organization.
With Friedman and Zaidi already in the place, the Dodgers announced Friday they also added Gabe Kapler and Billy Gasparino to the front office; Kapler is another who has a strong grasp on analytics. Whatever approach the reconfigured front office may choose to rely more heavily on, the expectations will remain the same.
The Dodgers have won back-to-back NL West titles before failing to get past the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason. While the Dodgers have new additions to the front office and the same will hold true for the roster, the entire coaching staff will return in 2015.