Friedman named Dodgers' president of baseball operations
Colletti remains with team as a senior advisor
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday to fill the newly created position of president of baseball operations, with current general manager Ned Colletti becoming a senior advisor to team president Stan Kasten.
Friedman, 37, was not under contract with the Rays. A news conference is scheduled to be held Friday at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET. It can be seen live on MLB.com and dodgers.com.
Friedman led the Rays to four postseason appearances, including two division titles (2008, 2010), in nine seasons from 2006-14. Under Friedman, the Rays posted the franchise's first winning season and won the American League pennant in 2008, when he was named Sporting News' Executive of the Year. After finishing below .500 in each of its first 10 years of existence, the Rays finished above the .500 mark in six consecutive seasons under Friedman from 2008-13.
"Andrew Friedman is one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today and we are very fortunate to have him join our organization," Kasten said. "The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible."
Friedman joined the Rays in 2004 and spent two years as director of baseball development before being named executive vice president of baseball operations. His previous experience includes two years as an analyst with the New York-based investment firm Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., and three years as an associate for the private equity firm MidMark Capital.
The Dodgers recently completed their fifth postseason appearance in Colletti's nine seasons; only St. Louis has matched that over that period of time. But an early exit at the hands of the Cardinals in the National League Division Series extended the Dodgers' World Series drought to 26 seasons.
"Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years and I'm thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me," said Kasten. "Ned's knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player-development system."
Former owner Frank McCourt hired Colletti to replace Paul DePodesta as the 10th GM in franchise history and the fifth in an eight-year span. Colletti inherited a 71-91 team and since then, the Dodgers have won four NL West titles, reached the NL Championship Series three times and compiled a 783-674 (.537) record. He had the winningest record of any NL GM in that time.
The Dodgers had a losing record in only one of his seasons, in 2010, when an ownership crisis financially handcuffed baseball operations. During his tenure, the Dodgers have the third-best won-loss record in the NL.
Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the Dodgers in 2012 and kept Colletti in place with a dual mandate of trying to win a World Series immediately while rebuilding a farm system neglected during McCourt's era, during which the Dodgers abandoned the international talent market and eventually fell into bankruptcy.
Except for rare exceptions over the past decade -- most notably Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp -- a fallow farm system forced Colletti to plug holes through trades and expensive free agents, and he had come under fire for expensive mistakes like Jason Schmidt, Bill Mueller, Andruw Jones and, most recently, Brian Wilson.
Conversely, while Colletti had come under fire for dealing catching prospect Carlos Santana to Cleveland in the 2008 Casey Blake trade, weeks later he made one of the great Deadline trades ever by obtaining Manny Ramirez, who carried the Dodgers into the playoffs with the greatest two months of offense in club history.
Colletti also made one of the most shocking blockbuster deals baseball has known, obtaining Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox. His deal last summer for Ricky Nolasco solidified a starting rotation that had lost Chad Billingsley for the season.
Some of Colletti's most successful acquisitions, however, have been on the cheap. From Takashi Saito to Justin Turner, from Wilson last year to Nomar Garciaparra, Colletti and the Dodgers have been rewarded by longshots when internal options fell short.
On Colletti's watch, the club made expensive quick-fix international expenditures that paid off, such as the signings of Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Hiroki Kuroda. Colletti's first trade after getting the job was one of his best, dealing away the troubled Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier, who became an All-Star in multiple seasons.
And whether it was mandated by ownership or Colletti's call, the Dodgers have resisted the temptation to deal away any of the organization's current jewels -- Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias -- even though it has meant passing on deals that might have made winning now easier.
Before joining the Dodgers, Colletti was assistant GM for the San Francisco Giants, and before that, he was with the Chicago Cubs, first in the publicity department, then in baseball operations.