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Dodgers officially hire Gabe Kapler, Billy Gasparino to run farm, amateur scouting

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Gabe Kapler was a non-roster invitee in spring training with the Dodgers in 2011, though he didn't make the team.
Gabe Kapler was a non-roster invitee in spring training with the Dodgers in 2011, though he didn't make the team.
Rob Tringali

LOS ANGELES -- On the day new general manager Farhan Zaidi was introduced at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers officially added two new hires to the front office. Gabe Kapler is the new director of player development, with Billy Gasparino the director of amateur scouting.

Not that every front office role is created equal, especially with a different figure at the top in new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, but Kapler is essentially taking De Jon Watson's old role and Gasparino filling in for the departed Logan White.

Watson is now with the Diamondbacks and White with the Padres, both accepting senior front office positions.

Friedman on Friday said the club is trying to hire a few more people for the front office, which could be announced in the coming days.

"We're obviously really excited by the recent additions, and we're adding an incredibly talented and well-rounded group to an existing group of strong people as well," Friedman said. "I'm anxious to get everyone together to collaborate and come up with our vision."

Kapler, lured from Fox Sports, played 12 years in the major leagues and managed one season in the minors, in 2007 in Class-A in the Red Sox system during a brief interlude in his playing career. He also coached for Team Israel in 2012 during the qualifying portion of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

For a first-time front office job, the Dodgers are aiming high with Kapler, but he will be surrounded by experienced executives in an ever-expanding front office.

Gasparino was the scouting director in San Diego and spent time in the amateur scouting departments for the Padres and Blue Jays for the last 11 years. He ran the last two drafts for the Padres, working under the then-GM Josh Byrnes, who was hired Thursday by the Dodgers as senior vice president of baseball operations.

Gasparino was drafted by the Rockies in the 17th round in 1999, and played one season in Class-A Portland as an infielder before retiring. He started his post-playing career in baseball as an intern in the Indians front office in 2003.