CARLSBAD — The doors to a banquet room at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa opened at 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and general managers from around Major League Baseball strolled into a scheduled session with reporters.
The Giants did not have an employee present. Their general manager was fired at the end of September, and they still have not named a replacement.
The Dodgers did not have their general manager in the room, either. Farhan Zaidi wasn’t even in Carlsbad on Tuesday. The Dodgers GM was trying to decide whether he wanted to take over a rival baseball operations department.
Multiple league sources confirmed reports that the Giants have offered Zaidi, a longtime A’s and Dodgers employee, the title of President of Baseball Operations. That position does not currently exist in the organization, but Larry Baer has spent more than a month criss-crossing the country in search of fresh blood to revamp the organization’s baseball operations department. Baer has settled on Zaidi as his top choice, and now two organizations are playing a waiting game.
Andrew Friedman, the President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers, took Zaidi’s place in front of reporters and indicated that the organization would not stand in the way of an executive who wanted to join the Giants.
“We have a longstanding policy of supporting employees,” Friedman said. “We feel like we’ve lost a lot of employees the last two years but I think a lot of that is a result of the success we’ve had.”
The National League champions have already lost their third base coach and hitting coach to other organizations this offseason. Many around the game believe the GM will be next, although Friedman would not address Zaidi’s plans on Tuesday.
“Farhan news is not appropriate to comment on right now,” he said. “We’re going to stick to Dodger-related news. I don’t know what Farhan is going to do.”
For Zaidi, a Cal grad and former assistant GM with the A’s, this is surely a tough decision. The Giants can bring him back to the Bay Area and hand him the keys to his own department. Zaidi never had that kind of power in Oakland and does not in Los Angeles. The Dodgers can do nothing to try and sway him but offer more money, and given how deliberate Baer has been with this search, salary concerns would not get in the way if Zaidi indicated he was ready to take over in San Francisco.
The Dodgers have another card to play, though. They’re simply in a much better position to win -- now and in the future -- than the Giants. One source said Tuesday that some candidates for the position were concerned by the Giants’ roster and the idea that the easiest way to rebuild would be to come in and immediately become known as the man who traded Madison Bumgarner.
That’s a move Zaidi may have to make. For now, he has a much bigger decision: Stay in Los Angeles or run the show in San Francisco.