Rays' Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is leaving the organization to join the Dodgers, as first reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Friedman will become the Dodgers' President of Baseball Operations, with general manager Ned Colletti staying with the team as a senior advisor to Stan Kasten.
Rays' president Matt Silverman will take over baseball operations for Tampa Bay, with Brian Auld becoming the team's president, according to Topkin. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, there is buzz that Rays' manager Joe Maddon could follow Friedman to Los Angeles, potentially displacing Don Mattingly at the helm of the Dodgers.
The move will cause shockwaves through the entire league, as Friedman is considered one of the best executives in the game and is sure to shake up the Dodgers' way of doing business after a successful stint in Tampa Bay. Friedman took a 2008 Rays' team to the World Series with a payroll of just over $43 million, and now has over $235 million in payroll to work with in Los Angeles.
Friedman, 37, leaves the Rays after nine seasons in charge of their baseball operations department. In that span, he turned the organization around from being perennial losers to consistent contenders, winning two AL East titles en route to four playoff appearances and reaching the World Series against the Phillies in 2008.
Talk around the game about Colletti being on the hot seat has heated up since the Dodgers' defeat in the NLDS against the Cardinals, so his staying put in the organization is an interesting move. It is currently unclear how big his role will be within the organization, but he will now take a backseat to Friedman after nine seasons as the Dodgers' general manager.
Today's news is the latest in a series of general manager changes, with the Dodgers and Rays becoming the fifth and sixth teams to shake up their baseball operations departments since the summer. The Dodgers are the fourth NL West team to make a switch, joining the Diamondbacks (hired Dave Stewart after firing Kevin Towers), Padres (hired A.J. Preller after firing Josh Byrnes), and Rockies (hired Jeff Bridich after the resignation of Dan O'Dowd). The Braves also made a switch, firing Frank Wren and offering John Hart their permanent GM job.