The Dodgers made a huge upgrade to their front office by hiring Andrew Friedman, who will be introduced at a Dodger Stadium press conference later this week. But notable in Friedman's hire is his position, a newly created title of president of baseball operations.
The team currently doesn't technically have a general manager, though that figures to be rectified soon. We have seen similar structures in front offices recently, such as with the Cubs, with president of baseball ops Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer; or the Diamondbacks, with chief baseball officer Tony LaRussa and general manager Dave Stewart.
In other words, expect the Dodgers to hire a general manager at some point, to work hand in hand with Friedman. It could come from in house, from someone like Alex Tamin, currently the director of baseball contracts, research and operations.
If the Dodgers decide to look elsewhere, there might not be a better candidate than new free agent executive Bryan Minniti.
Minniti was assistant general manager the last five years with the Nationals, where he worked with then team president Stan Kasten in 2010.
Minniti left Washington in a bit of a surprise move on Friday night, explaining in an email, "After five productive years with the Washington Nationals, it’s time for a change, so I’m leaving the organization," per James Wagner of the Washington Post.
The 34-year-old is one of the youngest executives in baseball in his position or higher, yet he already has 14 years of experience.
After nine seasons with the Pirates - the last two as director of baseball operations - the University of Pittsburgh grad was hired by the Nationals as assistant general manager in November 2009, a position he held for five years.
As assistant GM, Minniti was involved in all aspects of baseball operations, with Jim Seip of the York (Penn.) Daily Record describing Minniti's specialty as being "the money man, handling contract negotiations and arbitration hearings," which is similar to Tamin's current role with the Dodgers.
Dan Kolko of MASN described Minniti as "a well-liked member of the Nationals organization and known to be a hard worker."
"Bryan has been an integral part of my staff for the past five years," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement, per Wagner. "The success we’ve had as an organization, building from 100-loss team to one that has captured two NL East Division Championships in the last three years, would not have been possible without him. He was a tireless worker and a trusted advisor."
Here is an interview with Minniti from 2010, his first season in Washington.
I have no idea if the Dodgers have even talked with Minniti, but with a position open and his previous tie to Kasten, it wouldn't surprise me if Minniti was a fit.