By Jon Weisman
Andrew Friedman, the 37-year-old architect of four playoff appearances and a trip to the World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays, is joining the Dodgers in the newly created position of president of baseball operations.
Ned Colletti, the Dodgers’ general manager since 2005, will remain in the organization as a senior advisor to president and CEO Stan Kasten. A news conference will be held at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
Friedman is six years older than Paul DePodesta was when the latter was named general manager in February 2004. And it’s those six years, plus three more as Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, that probably will impress those who would otherwise doubt someone so young and who came to baseball after starting his working career with Bear Stearns and MidMark Capital.
Though they finished 77-85 in 2014, the Rays had a run of six consecutive winning seasons — five of them with at least 90 victories — despite operating with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. At age 31, he became the youngest-ever winner of the Sporting News’ Executive of the Year award.
“Andrew Friedman is one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today and we are very fortunate to have him join our organization,” said Kasten. “The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible.”
Lest you think Friedman was a baseball neophyte when he joined the Rays, he went to Tulane on a baseball scholarship as an outfielder.
Since Colletti joined the Dodgers, the team has had eight winning seasons and five playoff appearances in nine years.
“Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years, and I’m thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me,” said Kasten. “Ned’s knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player development system.”