While many fans of the Dodgers knew it was inevitable, the team has renewed the contract of President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, at least according to some reports.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network revealed the news by tweet on Friday evening despite the specific details of the pact not being known.
There has been no official press release from the team.
Friedman’s previous contract was five years in length and paid $35 million over its life. At the time of his signing with the Dodgers in October of 2014, he became the highest paid executive in baseball.
During his first tour of duty with the Dodgers, the 43-year-old Texas native guided his team to five straight NL West division titles and two NL pennants. For years, his popularity has seemingly been split among the fan base, as his critics frequently place blame on his management philosophies for the team’s inability to secure their first World Championship in more than 30 years.
Friedman grew up in Houston and attended Episcopal High School, eventually earning a baseball scholarship to play outfield at Tulane University, although his studies in business management and finance were his primary priorities. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Kenneth, who also played baseball for the Green Wave.
Friedman was part of the 1996 Tulane team which won the inaugural Conference USA Championship. Before injuries to his wrist and shoulder ended his playing career, he played under head coach Rick Jones, who led the Green Wave to 12 NCAA tournament appearances over his 21 year tenure.
Friedman went on to become an analyst with Bear Stearns from 1999–2002, and subsequently became an associate at MidMark Capital from 2002-04. He met Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg later in 2004, and after discovering they had many similar ideas about both business and baseball, they immediately began working together.
Friedman began his Rays career as the Director of Baseball Development. He was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager after the 2005 season, and at the age of 28, replaced the club’s first general manager, Chuck LaMar, who was fired following the club’s eighth losing season in its eight years of existence.
Friedman became Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for Tampa Bay following the 2005 season, staying in the same position all the way until the end of the 2014 season. During the entire time, he worked with just one manager—Joe Maddon. There was always an overwhelming amount of secrecy behind the Rays’ success, as Friedman would not divulge the names numerous people who were working under him, some of whom were likely statistical analysts. Under Friedman, the Rays were the pioneers of diversity, trying a number of unusual things over the years, such as unorthodox line-up choices and defensive shifts.
In his first season with the Dodgers, Friedman worked with skipper Don Mattingly before hiring current manager Dave Roberts later that winter.
Friedman and his wife, Robin, live in Pasadena with their daughter and two sons.