The Dodgers were granted permission on Wednesday to interview Padres scouting director Billy Gasparino for a position in their front office, per Corey Brock of MLB.com. Gasparino could be the latest addition in a rapidly-growing front office in Los Angeles.
We talked a little Tuesday night about Gasparino, rumored to be joining the Dodgers by both Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Gasparino was also mentioned by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register today as potentially coming aboard, and with the formality of permission granted to interview Gasparino the wheels are definitely in motion for a move.
Gasparino worked with Josh Byrnes in San Diego for the last four seasons until Byrnes was let go by the Padres in June. Byrnes is expected to be a senior executive on president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman's staff with the Dodgers along with former A's assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi as GM, though nothing has yet been announced by the team.
In San Diego, Gasparino ran the last two drafts, which could essentially make this a trade of sorts with former Dodger Logan White now in new GM A.J. Preller's front office. In June, Gasparino described his draft planning to Bill Center of Padres Friar Wire:
"There isn’t much down time and I like that," Gasparino said recently while discussing the year-round project that leads to the June draft.
"We’re constantly evaluating players. We’re not always making changes, but we want to make sure our scouts are seeing players as many times as possible. That includes Gasparino, who is on the road throughout the spring looking at high school seniors and eligible college prospects.
"We’re constantly adjusting our reports."
Prior to becoming scouting director, Gasparino was a national crosschecker for both the Padres and Blue Jays for six years, and was an area scout in Southern California for three years with the Blue Jays before that.
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.
In between his playing career ending and getting back into baseball, Gasparino worked in finance, though as he explained in a 2013 interview with Padres 360, he didn't enjoy it very much:
Padres360 - If you weren’t involved in baseball, what would you be doing?
Billy Gasparino - Well, I know what I wouldn’t do. I was actually a stock broker for 2 years and I didn’t like it so I know what I wouldn’t be doing. I do have a finance degree and I like the business aspect, so maybe try to own a small business if I could where you’re still like managing people and have control of what you are doing, where it’s goal oriented and competitive. I could definitely see doing something like that. I don’t know, that’s part of the problem, I couldn’t find anything, so I came back to baseball and so I am happy to be here.