Giants reportedly eyeing Zaidi as GM candidate

October 30th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are in a win-win situation regarding their search for a general manager ... probably.

A cross-section of figures within the industry contacted Tuesday by MLB.com showered praise upon the Giants' known candidates for the vacancy: Kim Ng, MLB's senior vice president for baseball operations; Jason McLeod, the Cubs' senior vice president of scouting and player development; and Amiel Sawdaye, the D-backs' senior vice president and assistant general manager.

"Any of the three would be outstanding," said a longtime scout and front-office employee who knows each candidate and is currently with a National League club.

Another possibility has joined the mix: Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi. Industry sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that Zaidi has drawn serious interest from the Giants.

Zaidi's responsibilities with the Giants -- who want a czar to reign over all baseball operations -- would exceed his duties with the Dodgers, who rely on him to focus on the Major League club and engineer player acquisitions. In Los Angeles, Zaidi reports to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. In San Francisco, the new GM will report directly to president and chief executive officer Larry Baer.

The timing of the fresh speculation involving Zaidi makes sense, since all parties concerned would have tried to keep his name out of the news while the Dodgers competed in the postseason.

Some insiders have speculated that the Giants are considering another tier of candidates. This rumor simply could have resulted from Baer doing exactly what he said he'd do: Maintaining a deliberate pace in evaluating possible successors to Bobby Evans.

Purchasing a plane ticket will be the GM's first task if the Giants hire one before the weekend. The annual meeting of general managers, which has grown in importance as competition for free agents proliferates and clubs try to position themselves for potential trades, will begin Monday in Carlsbad, Calif. Executive vice president Brian Sabean likely would represent the Giants at the meetings if the new boss hasn't been named.

Among the first crucial decisions facing the new GM is whether to trade left-hander , the staff ace who will become eligible for free agency after next season. The course of action the Giants take could say a lot about the new GM's basic philosophies.

One observer noted that the Giants could make substantial progress by devoting more energy to their scouting in Latin American countries.

"Their Latin American program has been [crap] for 20 years," a talent evaluator for a National League team said.

If the Giants were to choose Ng, she would immediately be hailed as the first woman and the first Asian to occupy such a lofty position. But, in the eyes of her many supporters within baseball, her renowned all-around skills would make her more than a pioneer.

"She's awesome," a player agent said of Ng, who has previously interviewed for GM openings with the Twins, Mariners, Padres, Brewers and Angels. "She's incredible. She's got her stuff together. And she's a leader."

Bent on reversing the 167-229 (.422) record they have compiled since the 2016 All-Star break, the Giants might welcome McLeod, who helped upgrade the Red Sox, Padres and Cubs organizations.

"He changed things in a hurry," said an executive with an American League team. "He has a vision and he's able to accomplish it in a short period of time."

As Boston's scouting director before joining the D-backs, Sawdaye was instrumental in drafting outfielders , and , who helped the Red Sox win this year's World Series. "He knows what he's doing in the Draft room," said the veteran baseball employee with an NL club.