Los Angeles Dodgers name Farhan Zaidi as GM; Clayton Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez earn honors

November 7, 2014

The Los Angeles Dodgers continued to solidify their new front office by adding more analytics-friendly executives, as the team named Farhan Zaidi as General Manager and Josh Byrnes as Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations.

Zaidi (pronounced FAR-hahn ZY-dee) becomes the 11th general manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and in that role his primary focus will be on the Major League club. He spent the last 10 seasons with the Oakland Athletics, learning their cost-effective "Moneyball" approach, and most recently served as that club’s assistant general manager/director of baseball operations. He joined the Athletics as a baseball operations analyst in 2005 before holding the title of director of baseball operations from 2009-13.

“It is very exciting for us to be able to add two exceptional, veteran baseball executives like Farhan and Josh,” said Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “Farhan's primary focus will be the Major League team and player acquisitions while Josh will concentrate on the oversight of scouting and player development. However, they will both work closely with me on all aspects of baseball operations in our efforts to make the Dodgers’ front office and team the best it can possibly be.”

Zaidi, 37, earned his bachelor of science degree in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 and a Ph.D in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.  Prior to joining the A’s, Zaidi served as business development associate for Small World Media, the fantasy sports division of The Sporting News, and also worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Byrnes, 44, will supervise the Dodgers’ scouting and player development operations after previously serving as executive vice president/general manager for two of the Dodgers’ NL West rivals, the Diamondbacks (Oct. 2005-July 2010) and Padres (Oct. 2011-June 2014).

He began his front office career in 1994 with the Indians, working as an advance scout in 1995 and 1996 before being promoted to Director of Scouting in June 1998. In the fall of 1999, Byrnes became assistant general manager of the Rockies and moved to the Red Sox in the same role for the 2003-05 seasons, helping Boston to the 2004 World Series title.

First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez earns Silver Slugger and Gold Glove

Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was honored with his second-career Silver Slugger, becoming just the third Los Angeles first baseman to take home the award since its inception in 1980 (Eddie Murray and Eric Karros won it in 1990 and 1995, respectively).

"I'm excited to win the Silver Slugger Award, especially with so many deserving first basemen in the National League this year," said Gonzalez. "I'm grateful for the consideration and votes for this prestigious honor."

Gonzalez was the only Major Leaguer to win both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2014 and becomes just the fourth all-time Dodger to be honored with both awards in the same season, joining Dusty Baker (1981), Russell Martin (2007) and Matt Kemp (2009, 2011).

Gonzalez led the Majors with 116 RBI, the first Dodger to do so since Matt Kemp in 2011, while batting .276 and leading the Dodgers with 41 doubles (3rd, NL) and 27 home runs (6th, NL) in 159 games. The 32-year-old was one of the best clutch hitters in the game, batting .333 with runners in scoring position (62-for-186), the sixth-best mark in the National League.

Gonzalez reached the 20-home run mark for the eighth time in nine full MLB seasons since 2006 and topped 100 RBI for the fifth consecutive season and seventh time in his career.

In addition to his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, Gonzalez also was named as a 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at his position.

Two Los Angeles Dodgers infielders made the list, as Juan Uribe (third base) was also honored.

Founded in 2012, the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.

Below are the 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners:

(P) Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
(C) Russell Martin – Pittsburgh Pirates
(1B) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
(2B) Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
(3B) Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
(SS) Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
(LF) Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
(CF) Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
(RF) Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves *

Defensive Team of the Year – Cincinnati Reds

Jason Heyward named overall 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year.

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw named 2014 Warren Spahn Award winner

Los Angeles Dodgers ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw was named the 2014 Warren Spahn Award winner.

“It is an honor to be the recipient of the 2014 Warren Spahn Award,” Kershaw said. “I’m humbled to be recognized by the Bricktown Rotary Club again this year – the prestige of this award isn’t lost on me. I am also grateful for the opportunity to play alongside so many awesome teammates who provide the support and confidence for me to do my job. Warren Spahn was a great pitcher with a legendary career. To be recognized in his honor is pretty special. Thank you for the privilege of representing this award for the 2014 baseball season.”

The Spahn Award is presented annually to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) and is based on a pitcher’s wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Such is Kershaw's dominance that organizers of the Warren Spahn Award announced Kershaw as the winner for the third time in four years.

The Spahn Award is named after Oklahoman and National Baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who holds the MLB record of 363 wins as a left-handed pitcher.

Kershaw is coming off a season in which he had a MLB-leading 21 wins. His 1.77 earned run average was the best in baseball. Kershaw also recorded 239 strikeouts.

“It is obvious from his performance on the field that we are witnessing a special pitcher each and every time Clayton Kershaw takes the mound,” said Greg Spahn, son of the late Warren Spahn. “This was another outstanding year for Clayton. He is truly one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and it’s this type of performance every season that explains why Clayton is a multiple winner of this award. The Spahn family will proudly present Clayton his third Warren Spahn Award.”

Having already won the Spahn Award in 2011 and 2013, Kershaw has been one of the top pitchers in baseball since his MLB debut in 2008. In addition to his two Cy Young awards, Kershaw has appeared in multiple All-Star Games and won the pitching Triple Crown in 2011. He is also a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. In 2014, Kershaw has been named Player of the Year by both The Sporting News and Baseball America.

Past Spahn Award winners include: Kershaw (2013 and 2011), Gio Gonzales (2012); David Price (2010); CC Sabathia (2007–2009); Johan Santana (2004, 2006); Dontrelle Willis (2005); Andy Pettitte (2003); and Randy Johnson (1999–2002).

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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