It appears new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has found his right hand man. The team will reportedly hire Farhan Zaidi as general manager later this week, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times also confirmed the Zaidi hire, with the added note that former Padres and Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes - long reported to be joining the Dodgers' front office - will be a "senior executive" with the club.
It makes sense the Dodgers are getting their team in place this week, with general manager meetings next week in Phoenix.
Zaidi was with the Athletics for 10 years, including 2014 as assistant general manager in addition to director of baseball operations, a post he held since 2009. Zaidi's primary duties in Oakland included providing statistical analysis for just about everything, from amateur players to free agents to trade targets, as well as working with the coaching staff with data from advanced scouting reports. He also played a role in arbitration cases and minor league contracts as well.
Zaidi, 37, got his undergraduate degree in economics at MIT and a Ph.D in economics from Berkely.
"He's engaging, he's able to look at baseball from every angle, consider every element, and he has great leadership skills," A's director of player personnel Billy Owens told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle in August. "He should be an emerging GM candidate for sure."
Friedman at his introductory press conference talked about adding as many dynamic people as possible to the front office.
"I'm a big fan of collaboration. ... I think having as much intellectual firepower, attacking all the different decisions we have is a good thing," Friedman said. "I think people coming at situations is a fresher perspective is helpful. All I care about is getting more decisions right than wrong, and having more resources to help us do that, the better."
Among those resources might also be Billy Gasparino, currently the Padres scouting director. Gasparino was mentioned as a possibility for "a significant role" in the Dodgers front office on Tuesday by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and as someone expected to join the Dodgers by Hernandez.
Gasparino, who turns 38 the day after Thanksgiving, was scouting director for the Padres the last two years after five years as a national crosschecker with the Padres and Blue Jays. Prior to that he was an area scout in Southern California for three years for Toronto.
The Rockies drafted Gasparino in the 17th round in 1999 out of Oklahoma State, and he hit .260/.373/.388 in 62 games for Class-A Portland in his one minor league season, playing third base, second base and shortstop.