Farhan Zaidi has a number of important decisions to make this offseason, with the search to find Bruce Bochy's replacement as Giants manager leading the list.
A number of names already have been floated as potential Bochy replacements, including A's bench coach Mark Kotsay and Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibanez. While Ibanez reportedly will not seek a managerial job at this time, another name hit the market Thursday when Gabe Kapler was fired after two disappointing seasons as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kapler might not be out of work for very long, though. Kapler worked alongside Zaidi in LA and the Giants president of baseball operations gave him a glowing recommendation, which helped him land the job in Philadelphia.
With Kapler no longer at the helm of the Phillies, he could be a candidate to come to the Bay and manage the Giants, USA Today's Bob Nightengale mentioned Thursday after Kapler was canned.
Gabe Kapler immediately becomes a strong candidate for the #SFGiants managerial opening. He and Farhan Zaidi had a strong relationship with the #Dodgers together.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 10, 2019
When Zaidi and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman were looking for a new manager in 2015, it came down to Kapler and Dave Roberts. Roberts got the job and Kapler continued to help shape the Dodgers' farm system before landing the Phillies job
Kapler was 161-163 in two seasons in Philadelphia. Despite being given a roster deemed by many to be the class of the NL East, Kapler was unable to get the Fightin' Phils to the postseason in 2019, leading to his departure. While injuries were a big reason for the Phillies down year, Kapler faced criticism for the way he handled the pitching staff from his very first game as Phillies manager and the questions about his ability to be a successful major league manager never dissipated.
There now are eight teams with managerial openings, which will make the decision that much more difficult for Zaidi.
Kapler is a polarizing figure in the baseball world. Zaidi once quipped that "75 percent of that was the Google image search."
His stint in Philadelphia didn't do much to change the narrative surrounding him. But Kapler and Zaidi have a connection and that's at least enough to put his name firmly in the running to take the reins from Boch.
The process, however, is just getting started.