After a decade with the Tampa Bay Rays, Andrew Friedman is moving west.
The 37-year-old Friedman, who has served as the Rays’ general manager and vice president of baseball operations since 2005, is the new president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that is shuffling its own front office after an early postseason departure yet again in 2014.
"“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,” Dodgers team president Stan Kasten said. “The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible.”"
Friedman assumed control of the Tampa Bay front office in 2005, becoming the second general manager in franchise history. The team had come off eight straight losing seasons to open its existence and in a span of four years, the former Wall Street man turned the Rays around, leading them to their first playoff appearance in 2008 that culminated with a World Series appearance.
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Since that season, Tampa Bay ran off six consecutive winning season, making the postseason four times during that span. The small-market team, which was once the laughing stock of the American League East, struggled because of injuries in 2014, finishing 77-85, 19 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. However, the club had finished third or better in the division every year since 2008 prior to this season.
"“I thank Andrew for all he has done for the Rays organization. We have enjoyed great success together, and that’s largely due to the deep and talented organization that Andrew has helped to assemble both on and off the field,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “While we will miss Andrew, we have prepared ourselves for this possibility, and I have great faith in Matt and Brian in their new roles.”"
Friedman will have the opportunity to hire a new general manager, given former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has departed his role, now serving as a senior advisor to Kasten. Manager Don Mattingly appears set to return to the team as skipper for the 2015 season, despite another disappointing end to the season in 2014.
"“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,” Kasten said in the statement. “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.”"