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Giants in no hurry to look for Bochy's successor

@mi_guardado
February 19, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi knows he will eventually have to start compiling a list of potential candidates to succeed Bruce Bochy as manager, but the upcoming search isn't currently at the forefront of his mind. "We're focused on this season," Zaidi said Tuesday at

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi knows he will eventually have to start compiling a list of potential candidates to succeed Bruce Bochy as manager, but the upcoming search isn't currently at the forefront of his mind.

"We're focused on this season," Zaidi said Tuesday at Cactus League Media Day. "I know how much Boch wants to go out with a strong year, and obviously that's a huge motivation for me and all the players. Not that any kind of added motivation or inspiration is needed for this group, but we're very focused on this season. I'm sure they'll be conversation and inquiries along the way, but it's not a focus for us. I'm still trying to learn the organization, learning the players and making sure I get off to the right start with the organization."

End of an era: Bochy announces plan to retire

Zaidi was informed that Bochy was considering retiring when he interviewed with the Giants in November, so Monday's announcement did not catch him by surprise. Executive vice president Brian Sabean said he believes the advanced notice of Bochy's exit should help ease the transition and give Zaidi ample time to start thinking about a plan of succession.

"It puts you in front of it," Sabean said. "It should relax the atmosphere amongst all parties. And give [Bochy] the proper due. He'll probably get sick of all the fanfare, but it will give him his proper sendoff. It also gives Farhan some good lead time to line up how he's going to attack it."

Posey inspired for Bochy's final season

Zaidi has previously helped hire managers in Oakland and Los Angeles, and he plans to draw on that experience once the Giants' search begins in earnest. One of the most important things he learned was to remain open-minded about candidates. He pointed out that Dave Roberts wasn't considered a front-runner for the managerial opening with the Dodgers in 2015, but he wound up securing the job after blowing away the team's executives during the interview process.

"When we hired Dave, we had no idea at the beginning of the process that he was going to be the guy or that he would even be a finalist," Zaidi said. "In my experience, the best way to wind up with the best candidate is to be very open-minded and not go into the process with any preconceived notions."

For now, Zaidi is simply looking forward to working alongside Bochy and having the opportunity to continue to learn from him in 2019.

"I feel fortunate that I'm going to get to spend the year with him, kind of learning from him, as well as he knows the game," Zaidi said. "It's actually been pretty cool for me to see, not just the way players in our organization interact with him and the respect they have for him, but in some of our player recruiting efforts, the way players outside the organization respect him just by reputation."

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.