Remember when the Chicago Cubs got Theo Epstein three years ago (almost to the day)? Remember how crazy that was? That such a huge name – such a talented executive – would leave his “home” team to join the Cubs?
Well, today, top Tampa Bay Rays executive Andrew Friedman is leaving for the West Coast to join the Los Angeles Dodgers as their president of baseball operations.
And that’s even crazier than the Cubs-Epstein marriage.
Stan Kasten stays on as the team’s President and CEO, and Ned Colleti – for now – stays on as a senior advisor. Friedman will presumably have mostly free reign of all things Dodgers baseball. With his talent and their money, it’s pretty safe to say the Dodgers are in extremely good hands and could remain exceptionally good for a long time.
The ripple effects of this move will take some time to sort out. What now happens to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly? What now happens with Rays manager Joe Maddon, who worked so well and so closely with Friedman? Are the Rays getting compensation for Friedman (doesn’t look like it)? Will Friedman immediately look to gut the aging pricey players from his roster? Or will he double-down on big money players now that he’s got resources that will feel unlimited compared to what he had in Tampa Bay? Who will Friedman hire as his GM?
This could really shake up the offseason. I am 100% completely happy with the Cubs’ front office setup, and genuinely wouldn’t trade them for a shiny new toy, but you can’t help but feel a little jealousy as the rich get richer in LA. I’m also irked that snapping up outfielder Scott Van Slyke on the cheap is probably no longer realistic.
Interesting tweet from Bill Shaikin:
#Dodgers get Friedman out of Tampa Bay after Angels, Astros, Cubs tried and failed.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 14, 2014
I’m not sure how accurate that is, given that I’ve heard all along that Theo Epstein was number one with a bullet. Yes, Friedman – along with many others – was considered as part of the process, but my understanding is that Epstein was always the guy if the Cubs could get him.
Good for the Dodgers, and good for Friedman, who is going to get paaaaaaaaid. Like I said, though, I’m happy with where things stand on the Cubs.