There currently is a bit of a Los Angeles Dodgers reunion within the San Francisco Giants organization as not only did they hire former general manager Farhan Zaidi to be their president of baseball operations a year ago, but he then went on to select Gabe Kapler as manager.
Kapler takes over for Bruce Bochy, who retired after spending 13 seasons leading the Giants. Zaidi and Kapler held two of the more important positions in the Dodgers organization under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman in recent years.
Kapler was the director of player development before becoming the Philadelphia Phillies’ manager in 2018. Kapler’s tenure in Philadelphia came to an abrupt end as he let go after just two seasons, but it did not take him long to find a new job back with Zaidi on the Giants.
Perhaps no one in the baseball world knows Zaidi and Kapler and how they work together better than Friedman. Although they are now considered rivals, Friedman believes they will make for a good partnership together with the Giants, via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Kap has a lot of real strengths. I think he’s a naturally gifted leader, really bright,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. “Obviously, Farhan and Kap know each other well, and there’s a lot of mutual respect. From that standpoint, starting that important relationship with manager and general manager or president, they’re starting way further ahead than most of us do.”
Kapler’s teams in Philadelphia largely underperformed the last two seasons and he took a bulk of the heat for it, ultimately losing his job. He is entering into a different situation in San Francisco though as they are in the midst of a rebuild and may be a few years away from competing.
Considering Friedman, Zaidi and Kapler all worked side-by-side for multiple years, it should only add another wrinkle to one of the biggest rivalries in all of baseball. L.A. hosts San Francisco in the Opening Series of the 2020 season beginning on March 26, so the Dodgers will not waste any time getting a look at Kapler and the new-look, Zaidi-lead Giants next season.
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