The Los Angeles Dodgers succeeded where other teams failed as they lured Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, creating a president of baseball operations role for the heralded executive.
Friedman then assembled a robust Dodgers front office, which included the hiring of Farhan Zaidi as general manager. Friedman and Zaidi collectively led baseball operations for the Dodgers through the 2018 season.
Zaidi then departed the organization when he accepted the role of president of baseball operations with the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers did not hire a replacement for Zaidi, and it’s unclear if they will do so prior to the 2020 season.
“I don’t know yet,” Friedman recently answered when asked of the possibility of finding a new GM. “There’s a lot to kind of unpack and focus on this winter. We have a really good team in place and really good, talented guys that got more of an opportunity this year and really stepped up. Not sure exactly at this point.”
In the immediate aftermath of Zaidi joining the Giants, Friedman said the Dodgers would split his general manager duties amongst the trio of Josh Byrnes, Brandon Gomes and Alex Slater. One month later, Jeff Kingston joined the Dodgers as vice president and assistant general manager.
Kingston held the same title with the Seattle Mariners, where he spent nine years with the club after joining as assistant general manager in 2009. Kingston added the vice president role in October 2015.
Meanwhile, this past March the Dodgers promoted Gomes from director of player development to vice president and assistant general manager, and Slater was named director of baseball operations (previously director of development and scouting).
For Gomes it represented another rapid ascension in his professional career. He first joined the Dodgers organization in November 2016 as pitching coordinator of performance. Gomes’ focus was on assisting Minor League pitchers.
He was promoted to director of player development in December 2017, filling a void that was created when the Philadelphia Phillies hired Gabe Kapler as manager.
While most organizations may opt to have a GM in place, the Dodgers certainly are well equipped to continue without one. Especially with Gomes and Kingston sharing titles.