Farhan Zaidi: The Blueprint 3
To be honest I can't take credit for the name Farhead Zaidi, that actually is the brilliance of the creative minds at local radio station 95.7 The Game. Some might have trouble trying to put their finger on the glamorous season the San Francisco Giants are having, to some it's miraculous and to others, it's a no-brainer. This team has the fingerprints of a Farhan Zaidi put-together team. To understand what that means you have to look at the teams Farhan Zaidi was managing and operating at the time of his tenure, and the immediate years after. Just because the brain trust behind a well-put-together franchise blueprint has vacated, most likely what foundation was laid into place will be carried out by management looking to mirror such success.
How We Got Here
Before we can start clamoring over the Giant's recent success we must first look at Mr. Zaidi's first MLB stop, which took place with none other than the Bay Area Rival Oakland A's. Farhan was well versed in the success behind Moneyball as he was intrigued by the method Billy Beane was using to create success. Farhan got his initial start with Billy Beane as his boss and carrying the title, data analysis saber-metrics assistant, before being promoted in 2013 to Director of baseball operations. In 2014 he was eventually tabbed as the GM of the Oakland Athletics. Recently there was a story concerning Fahan's frustration with the team, which would explain his eventual departure.
The Farhan Blueprint
Farhan's success was quickly propelling him up the MLB ranks as he accepted a GM position with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November of 2014, leaving Oakland. Farhan was the key cog in propelling the Dodgers in their first World Series appearance in 29 years. While they eventually ended up losing to the cheating Houston Astros in 7 heart-wrenching games & losing in 2018 to the Boston Red Sox. As I discussed earlier, sometimes a GM can leave a lasting imprint on a team even after they depart. This was none more so evident than with the Dodgers and their eventual success of winning a World Series in 2020. It's fair to say Farhan's blueprint to an eventual World Series title was a success. There's even a story that recently stating Farhan wrote a 3,000-word document explaining to management why they needed to trade for Chase Utley, just amazing.
While the Oakland A's haven't had the recent success that the Dodgers have had after Farhan's departure they have had numerous playoff appearances due to his genius blueprint and the San Francisco Giants are well on their way. 2020 didn't end as most had hoped, but the Giants were within reach of the playoffs needing to win on the last day of the season only to come up short on a strikeout to end the game. MLB fans and Giants enthusiasts got a fine glimpse of Farhan Zaidi and his wizardry at work.
Big Boy Decisions
Let's remember though that Farhan's first initial decisions had Giants fans up in arms as he was the key contributor to the idea that the organization would be okay without Madison Bumgarner. So far, Farhan has been dead on with his assessment of Bumgarner's output with his perceived value. Basically laying out a contract not on what Barmgarner has done for the organization, but for what his perceived future value is/would be. This is a dangerous gamble to make, but if your Farhan Zaidi it's a no-brainer, and has proven to be correct given Bumgarner's current statistics. 2 years with the Arizona Diamondbacks have yielded just a 5-9 record and an ERA average of 6.105, which coincidently is the worst in his career so far. It appears that Farhan has guess right.
Farhan Always Gets His Guy
To those that think that this team hasn't been constructed by Farhan then look no further than his hand-picked players over the seasons. Farhan always gets his guy, maximizes their output, and makes it a possibility for players to also maximize their next contract offer and every player loves that. Look no further than Tauchman, Yaztremszki, Dubon, and every other player on the team. The main point, Farhan gets his guy sooner or later. Farhan has also found ways to reinvigorate his aging superstars too as Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey are having slump-busting seasons.
It's hard to say, but it feels so long ago when Bruce Bochy was coaching this band of misfits. Gabe Kapler has done a magnificent job in leading this new age of Giants, but most of the success the team has witnessed over the last couple of seasons definitely has Farhan's fingerprint. Even if the Giants didn't make the postseason last year, being one pitch away from that footnote qualifies them in this situation when talking about Farhan Zaidi's overall impact on the organization. The blueprint to success is very clear, hire Farhan Zaidi to be the deciding part of management swinging moves for your MLB franchise, and as pointed out earlier if you're not quite too sure then look no further than with his previous stints with the A's and Dodgers.
Don't be surprised if the San Francisco Giants pull off a remarkable run to the postseason reminding fans of epic runs in 2010, 2012, & 2014. Even fans in LA are clamoring over the Giant's recent success from Padres fans stunned, Dodgers fans silent, and Angels fans jealous they can't win around Shohei Ohtani. Make no doubt about it Farhan is going to have some tuff decisions to make with the aging and expiring contract of Crawford, Belt, and Posey, the last remaining cores of World Series titles. So Giants fans rejoice, opposing teams envious, and players glamour at the genius that is Farhan Zaidi, stay tuned.
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