After spending four seasons as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Farhan Zaidi returned to Northern California this past winter as he was hired by the San Francisco Giants as their president of baseball operations.
Zaidi took the helm of a front office that witnessed back-to-back sub-.500 seasons. While Zaidi enjoyed a combination of youth and veterans with the Dodgers, the Giants’ roster is chockfull of albatross contracts.
And beyond Zaidi being a new presence within the Giants organization, his forward-thinking and analytic approach represented a shift. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner voiced some of his concern with Zaidi’s approach, noting it had not netted the Dodgers a World Series.
Players haven’t exactly done their part, as the Giants enter Sunday with the second-worst record in the National League. There are expectations they could be sellers come the July 31 trade deadline.
Zaidi didn’t rule out potentially completing a trade with the Dodgers, and he explained a belief how dealing with the Giants’ rival and other NL West clubs could be of benefit during an appearance on KNBR’s “Tolbert & Lund:”
“I think we just have to be open to it. There is an interesting point here. If we do end up in a position where we’re selling and looking to get some future talent, you actually want to be trading in the division because you want to weaken your rivals in future years and you want them to push more chips in to the present. So in a way, it actually benefits you more.
“Now, I understand there’s all kinds of emotional baggage going with that. Maybe the Dodgers are a special case, and I think most fans would say it’s not maybe, they just are a special case. But in general, I actually think trading in the division has a strategic advantage because you’re getting your rivals to kind of push more chips in the present whereas you may be taking more of a future outlook.”
The Dodgers and Giants have completed just three trades since moving West in 1958. Zaidi’s willingness to potentially do so certainly adds an interesting layer to the longstanding rivalry. He of course has a keen insight to the Dodgers’ roster and depth in the farm system.
If L.A. is to pursue a potential trade, Giants relief pitchers Will Smith or Tony Watson could be of interest.
Although dealing with the Giants would represent new territory for Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, he’s traded with his former Tampa Bay Rays club on several occasions.