In a surprising move, the Los Angeles Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays to be their head of baseball operations according to several reports.
The Dodgers won 94 games this year, but had a disappointing showing in the playoffs, losing 3-1 in the division series to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Friedman, who worked for Bear, Stearns & Co. prior to joining the Rays, was not under contract with the Rays, a team policy for executives. Therefore, the Dodgers did not have to offer compensation for signing Friedman.
Since a group led by Magic Johnson purchased the Dodgers prior to the 2012 season, the team’s payroll has grown to the largest in baseball at $US241 million this season. The team has more than $US190 million in payroll commitments for the 2015 season for just 15 players, including five players who will all make at least $US20 million.
Meanwhile, since leaving Wall Street and taking over the front office of the Rays in 2006, Friedman has put together a team that has gone to the playoffs four times in nine seasons with one of the smallest payrolls in the sport.
Now it will be interesting to see if the Dodgers try to reunite Friedman with Rays manager Joe Maddon who was a coach with the Los Angeles Angels for many years. Current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has had a rocky relationship with the front office.
Maddon’s contract is up following the 2015 season and he will be due for a large raise. The Rays could try to trade Maddon and receive some players in return.
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