SAN FRANCISCO -- Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' next president of baseball operations, will inherit a list of duties that could prompt him to wish for 30-hour workdays and eight-day work weeks.Any one of the top priorities facing Zaidi would represent a major project by itself. Put together, these obligations will
SAN FRANCISCO -- Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' next president of baseball operations, will inherit a list of duties that could prompt him to wish for 30-hour workdays and eight-day work weeks.
Any one of the top priorities facing Zaidi would represent a major project by itself. Put together, these obligations will require immediate and efficient multitasking.
On Monday, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Giants have hired the Dodgers' general manager. Zaidi was "the biggest guy [the Giants] were after," a source from a National League club said.
• Zaidi to head Giants' baseball ops
The to-do list awaiting Zaidi includes the following:
Settle on Madison Bumgarner
What do the Giants do with the left-handed staff ace? Hold onto Bumgarner and try to coax one more productive season from him in the last year of his contract before he heads for free agency? Try to jump-start a rebuilding effort by trading him for a package of prospects and Major League-ready performers? Decide that he's a "forever Giant" and launch efforts to sign him to a multiyear deal? Whatever Zaidi does with Bumgarner could determine the course of the franchise's immediate future.
Define player acquisition strategy
Zaidi, the Giants' "Next Gen" GM, as club president and CEO Larry Baer dubbed the club's then-yet-to-be-named executive at the end of the regular season, must follow instructions to the best of his ability by carrying out ownership's wishes in the free-agent market. Some observers expect the Giants to join what's guaranteed to be expensive bidding for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, given the club's serious trade proposal for Giancarlo Stanton and its free-agency bid for Shohei Ohtani a year ago. But the Giants very easily could head in the opposite direction and focus on replenishing the farm system.
Install a vision
Part of being a "Next Gen" GM will involve incorporating more analytics than the organization previously has employed. This could require some adjustments from the Giants' on-field personnel, most of whom are accustomed to more traditional methods. Absorbing the GM's philosophy is a process that could require weeks or months to complete. Also, one or two coaching staff changes could await.
Hire a farm director
The Giants were one year into David Bell's tenure as Minor League director when he bolted for his hometown of Cincinnati to fill the Reds' managerial vacancy. Zaidi can do as much or as little as he wants in this area. Most Minor League managing and coaching positions have been filled for 2019. The next GM still would be free to make as many changes as he sees fit. At the very least, Zaidi must expose the Minor League staff to his baseball philosophies.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.