SAN FRANCISCO - For three years, Brian Sabean took a step back from leading the baseball operations department. After Monday's announcement that general manager Bobby Evans will not be returning, Sabean will do so again.
The Giants are looking for a new head of baseball operations, team president and CEO Larry Baer said, meaning Sabean, the current vice president of baseball operations, will no longer be the middleman between the general manager and ownership. Sabean will remain in a to-be-determined role, but ownership will begin a search immediately to bring in someone from the outside. The new hire will report directly to ownership and have full control of what will be a revamped baseball operations department.
"When I transitioned into my current title at the beginning of 2015, Bobby forged forward as the fully-functioning GM and reported directly to Larry up until this year, when the reporting process was through me to Larry," Sabean said. "I've really been in a global position. There's really no transition (now)."
Sabean is in his 26th year in the organization and Evans had been with the Giants for 25 years. He was reassigned Monday, and while he has a year left on his contract, likely will not return in any role. A new head of baseball operations will have the ability to overhaul the department, and the search for that person will begin immediately.
"We made the decision that it was really at this point needed to take a fresh approach to baseball operations," Baer said. "We've had a very successful group here for a long time. We'll take a look outside."
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Baer defended the recent history of the front office and developments Sabean, Evans and others have made, while also saying the Giants need someone who brings a new approach. Ownership should have its pick from the best and brightest around the game. Multiple league executives said Monday that this is a premier job, with resources that are almost unmatched around the league and a commitment to win.
Sabean and Evans put together teams that won three titles, but Sabean took a step back in 2015. He was asked last winter to return to a more hands-on role, but now will step aside once again. Sabean said he believes there's still a consistent way to win in this ballpark.
"The long and short of it is we have had success through pitching, defense and timely hitting," he said. "I don't see this organization, no matter who comes in and takes over or manages in the future, turning ourselves into the Broad Street Bullies or becoming the Yankees, because that's not possible in this park. I believe in this park you have to play baseball and have professional hitters. We suffered this year not so much from not hitting home runs, but we couldn't drive in a run."