San Francisco Giants: The Farhan Zaidi Show Begins

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 09: General manager Farhan Zaidi of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout before the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 09: General manager Farhan Zaidi of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout before the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants introduced Farhan Zaidi as the new president of baseball operations in hopes the organization stops living in the past and produce a team playing meaningful baseball games.

Larry Baer and the San Francisco Giants are all-in with the new President of Baseball Operations, Farhan Zaidi, taking control. After two fruitless campaigns that saw them miss out on the postseason, a new approach needed to happen to an already disorganized front office.

Zaidi’s five-year deal shows that Baer believes he is the right choice to make any changes needed in an effort to field a winning team. To poach him from the Los Angeles Dodgers adds a bit of fuel to an already storied rivalry.

Zaidi served as the general manager for the Dodgers before accepting his new role with the Giants. He first started his tenure with the Dodgers in 2014, serving as the assistant general manager.

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Familiarity with the Bay Area is no stranger to Zaidi, who first worked across the Bay with the Oakland Athletics.

He bring with him a deep understanding of analytics, which are playing a critical role in baseball decision making today — as seen in the recent World Series between the Dodgers and Red Sox.

Los Angeles boasted a potent lineup, but everyday players found themselves on the bench based on the starting pitcher, and other factors determined by analytics.

It was a move that ultimately backfired though, as the Red Sox easily disposed of the Dodgers in five games. Boston was the best team in baseball all season, and despite the moves, Zaidi made to boost Los Angeles’ chances, his efforts fell short of a championship for the second consecutive year.

But one strength throughout Zaidi’s time with the Dodgers, is the fact the team made the postseason all four years since he arrived.

Manny Machado was the player most coveted by teams this past season, and his name surfaced on the trade mills at the beginning of the year. Zaidi made sure he ended up in Los Angeles and played a vital role in the Dodgers playing October baseball.

Machado was the big-ticket name Zaidi acquired, but more importantly, he added lesser-known players, such as Max Muncy, who helped the Dodgers stay in contention all season, and ultimately helped them win the NL West over the Rockies.

In his introductory press conference, Zaidi made mention of “talent identification,” as an area that needs to be looked at. It’s a problem the Giants desperately hope he can solve, and help replenish a thin farm system.

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San Francisco Giants

As of now, Zaidi has an important job in finding the next general manager after Bobby Evans was dismissed from the role before the end of the season. A new farm system director is also going to be needed. For Zaidi, his time in Oakland serving under Billie Beane, served him well, as he got involved with the scouting process.

Zaidi will represent the Giants at the general manager’s meetings. Do not expect any headlines as nothing major tends to happen during these meetings. The meetings are more of a way to engage in talking to representatives of free agents and other general managers about potential players available.

Bryce Harper is the big fish this year, and is looking to cash in on a mega deal. He reportedly turned down a lucrative offer from the Washington Nationals, his current club. Harper appears set on leaving the Nationals and could end up on the west coast.

Without a doubt, the Giants will get an audience with Harper’s representatives and he could potentially wear the orange and black. At age 26, Harper would add a boost to the lineup, but could be risky in the later years should his production decrease below the level of his salary against the books.

For now, Zaidi should focus on the current roster as a decision looms regarding Madison Bumgarner, who is set to hit free agency next season. Zaidi coveted Bumgarner from afar in his press conference after his dazzling 2014 postseason performance.

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For the potential net gain of prospects, the time to trade of Bumgarner though, is now. He will garner plenty of interest from clubs. In some cases, trading a big-name player may not work out as prospects may never reach their potential of making the big leagues. With Zaidi’s intellect though, will help identify the talent to rebuild the Giants.

Bumgarner may not want to be traded as he feels he has plenty left in the tank to continue being a stalwart on the mound. His injuries the past two years though, have raised questions about how effective he can still be as a starter.

After Clayton Kershaw’s latest deal and saying he is out to prove skeptics wrong, Bumgarner likely has the same mindset, and could cost a pretty penny.

A win-now mode appears to be Zaidi’s current mindset, but he indicated all options would be on the table. Fan favorites, such as Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik, could be on a different team next year. Fans may not approve of his dealing, if the moves come to fruition, but something definitely needs to change — the days of even-year magic are nothing but a distant memory at this point.

To hold onto the hope of the team’s former glory returning will only hinder progress and keep the club from moving forward. Three championships came after a few lean years because the franchise finally chose to move on from Barry Bonds.

Next. Giants Have Their New President of Baseball Ops. dark

Zaidi is a student of the game and will listen to current front office executives like Brian Sabean in making personnel decisions. With Baer going in a new direction, a long-awaited new era begins for the Giants.