LOS ANGELES — They won’t retire his laptop and hang it from the stadium facade. But the Dodgers do not plan to hire a new general manager to replace Farhan Zaidi any time soon.
“This offseason has been too chaotic on a number of fronts to be able to slow the game down enough to focus on that,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, acknowledging he has not interviewed any replacement candidates. “It’s something we’ll think about over the course of the season and think about again next offseason.”
Zaidi left after four years as the Dodgers GM under Friedman in early November to become president of baseball operations for the rival San Francisco Giants. He was just one of multiple departures from the Dodgers coaching and front-office staff this winter.
Friedman said the team received approximately 30 requests from other teams to interview members of the Dodgers’ organization this winter. When that request was granted, the staff member involved almost inevitably received a job offer and left for a new team.
Among the departures along with Zaidi this fall were coaches Chris Woodward (Rangers), Luis Ortiz (Rangers) and Turner Ward (Reds), baseball operations analyst Ehsan Bokhari (Astros) and minor-league hitting coordinator Paco Figueroa (Phillies).
A year earlier, the Dodgers lost Alex Anthopoulos (Braves) from the front office along with Gabe Kapler (Phillies) and Jeremy Zoll (Twins) from player development, among others.
Friedman indicated there would be some restructuring of front-office roles with a number of people assuming expanded duties to make up for the absence of a GM. He has mentioned senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, director of baseball development and scouting Alex Slater and director of player development Brandon Gomes, in particular, as stepping up to fill the needs.
“We’ve got a really talented group of people in the office,” Friedman said. “Everyone’s kind of stepped up and done a little bit more.”
Nonetheless, Friedman has called Zaidi’s departure “a big loss” for both the Dodgers and himself personally.
“There was a real rhythm Farhan and I had gotten into,” Friedman said.
“Farhan and I didn’t delineate things in perfectly clear ways. We just worked together, divided and conquered. If as we were working together one of us was kind of diving into something to focus on, the other would go focus on something else. It wasn’t necessarily perfectly laid out like, ‘These are your responsibilities and this is what I’m focusing on.’ So now, it’s just been involving more people in things and going at it that way.”
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