SAN FRANCISCO -- Larry Baer always had his eye on Farhan Zaidi, but it took more than a month after the end of the 2018 regular season to make the hiring official because the then-Dodgers GM was unable to fully interview while his team made a run to the World Series.
Zaidi may find similar roadblocks this October as he looks for Bruce Bochy's replacement, along with one other issue. There are managerial openings every offseason, but this is about as loaded a class of vacancies as we've seen in recent years.
So far, there are seven openings, including the one at Third and King. The Cubs job is as appealing as any in the sport, and the Mets also play in a large market with a strong veteran roster. Take either one of those jobs and you can reasonably expect to contend next season. The same would hold true in Philadelphia if Gabe Kapler is let go.
The Padres have the best farm system around and could have a quick turnaround under the right leadership. Plus, you get to live in San Diego. The Angels have their issues, but they also have Mike Trout. The Pirates and Royals also are looking for new managers.
There's a lot of variance in that group, but inevitably, some of the hot names will get calls from multiple executives. Zaidi acknowledged this week that the other openings could impact his own search.
"Obviously I don't know who is on other teams' managerial candidate lists but it's reasonable to expect there to be some overlap, and it throws an additional wrench into scheduling of things, which could wind up extending the process," he said. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it but I imagine some of the candidates we wind up interviewing will be candidates elsewhere as well."
That could be the case with Raul Ibañez, who is believed to be at or near the top of Zaidi's list. The current Dodgers front office employee also reportedly could be on the radar in Chicago, where bench coach Mark Loretta is a candidate and also could be a fit for what the Giants are looking for.
Joe Maddon is believed to be the favorite in Anaheim and Mike Matheny in Kansas City, and neither has been connected to the Giants yet. But it's likely that someone like Mark Kotsay, connected Friday, will have other options as well. The same holds true for Hensley Meulens, who interviewed with the Giants this week and has been a hot name in coaching circles for a couple of years.
The Giants kicked off the interview process this week and plan to talk to six-to-eight external candidates. The expectation has been that a new hire won't be made until November, but keep an eye on other openings. There's a musical chairs element here, and openings and hirings elsewhere will impact the Giants.