MLB Notebook: Giants’ Farhan Zaidi Named MLB Executive of the Year

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi was named Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Monday after San Francisco surpassed the teams with 107 wins during the regular season.

Zaidi, 44, completed his third season with the Giants, who set a franchise record for wins and then lost 3-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in an NL Division Series.

Zaidi, an MIT graduate with a Ph.D. in economics from Cal, worked for the Oakland Athletics from 2011-14, was General Manager of Dodgers from 2014-18, then was hired by the Giants.

In the pre-postseason ballot by Major League clubs, Erik Neander, president of Baseball Operatons in Tampa Bay Rays, came in second and David Stearns, president of Baseball Operations in Milwaukee, third.

Oakland’s Billy Beane took first place in 2018, followed by Neander in 2019 and Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman last year.

The award was announced on the opening night of the annual general management meetings, which resumed after a year of absence caused the pandemic.

YANKEES: The Yankees had a rep in Jupiter, Florida, on Monday, watching two-time Cy-Young winner Justin Verlander—coming back from injury—throw a brief showcase for teams. He drew the Yankees and 14 scouts from other teams looking for a recovery project for their rotation.

Verlander got a qualifying offer from the Houston Astros, meaning if he turns it down — and with so many teams showing up to his showcase, it indicates he’s likely to get a multi-year offer that’s better — any team that signs him will have to give up. a draft pick fee.

While Verlander’s last full season was his spectacular 2019 when he defeated Gerrit Cole for the Cy Young, the right-handed power pitcher, who had a resurgence with the Astros, will be 39 years before the start of the 2022 season.

“He looked good physically, the speed was good,” said a scout. “He looks like he’s going to hit forty.”

Verlander threw 25 pitches according to the scout and his speed was in his normal range hitting 96. That’s a narrow view for teams to make a decision on a deal that must be better than the $18.4 million the qualifying offer is worth.

METS: Mets chairman Sandy Alderson says the biggest impediment in the club’s lingering search for a CEO is not its presence or owner Steve Cohen, but the spotlight created by the New York market.

“I think it’s mostly about New York, not about, you know, Steve or the organization or whatever,” he said. “It’s a big stage and some people would just rather be somewhere else.”

Alderson said the team is considering several candidates for the position, but he has not scheduled interviews during baseball’s general manager meetings this week in Southern California. He hopes to have clarity by the end of the week, but declined to set a deadline for when New York will end its ongoing search.

“I don’t want to give you a timeline,” he said. “We’re already through what most people would say is a reasonable timeline.”

New York City fired acting general manager Zack Scott on Nov. 1, two months after he was arrested on a drunk driving charge. Scott was promoted to the role in January when Jared Porter was fired after less than 40 days on the job following revelations that in 2016 he sent sexually explicit text messages and images to a female reporter while working for the Chicago Cubs.

Porter and Scott were hired last season after Alderson and Cohen failed in their search for a president of baseball operations. Alderson said the club has hit a similar roadblock this off-season.

Alderson said several candidates were unable to get permission from their current club to interview for the job, while others have declined because they feel too comfortable where they are personally or professionally.

But for the most part, he thinks New York itself keeps people away.

“There’s a lot of factors that come into play, but I’d say it’s, you know, it’s not brutal, but it’s a demanding place,” he said. “Which, by the way, I enjoy.”

Alderson said he has interviewed many candidates and Cohen has interviewed a few. He believes the organization will make only one hire, for a CEO. He did not rule out the possibility that a president of baseball operations could be hired above that GM in future offseasons.

Alderson said he was a little surprised by the number of candidates who turned them down.

He also denied that concerns about autonomy have led to some of those nos. Alderson, who has 40 years of baseball experience, will oversee who gets hired, and his son, Bryn, is an assistant general manager.

He called concerns about Bryn’s position “a red herring” and said he won’t even tell his son who is being considered. Alderson also said he believed his working relationship with Scott was strong this season and demonstrated the freedom an incoming GM would have.

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