The San Francisco Giants have selected former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler as Bruce Bochy’s successor, the team announced Tuesday night.
Kapler has signed a three-year contract and will be introduced in a news conference on Wednesday, the team announced in a statement.
Kapler was fired after two seasons in charge of the Philadelphia Phillies, in which the team hovered around .500 despite an effort to break through in the NL East. He finished his tenure in Philly with a record of 161-163.
Kapler reunited with Giants president of baseball ops
The 44-year-old Kapler likely had a significant ally in the decision process in Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who worked with Kapler during their time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. From 2014 to 2017, Kapler was the team’s director of player development while Zaidi was general manager under Andrew Friedman.
“Our top priority in the next manager was to find someone who can build strong relationships with our players, coaches, front office and fans, and someone who has the drive and desire to win,” Zaidi said in a statement. “After an exhaustive and comprehensive search, we are delighted to welcome Gabe Kapler as the next manager of the San Francisco Giants.
“In my personal experience in working with Gabe, there is no one who works harder and is more committed to getting the best out of the people around him. This was also echoed in the feedback we received around the baseball community. I look forward to working with Gabe to help return the Giants to its winning tradition.”
While the Giants hailed the pair’s reunion, it also meant the team had to address multiple incidents that reportedly happened under Zaidi and Kapler’s watch in 2015. The team reportedly kept quiet a sexual assault by one of its minor league players against a hotel maid, and they were also reported to have held off from contacting the police after a girl alleged one of its minor leaguers sexually assaulted her, per The Washington Post.
Asked about one of the incidents, Zaidi said the team failed to consider whether it was doing the right thing.
Zaidi on incident with minor leaguers when he and Kapler were in LA: "The biggest mistake we made was asking the wrong questions. We asked what we had to do instead of what was the right thing to do. ... I'm truly sorry from my perspective that I didn't ask the right questions."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 13, 2019
Plenty of work for Kapler to do in SF
Waiting for Kapler in San Francisco will be a significant amount of work to do if the team wants to return to playoff contention.
The Giants went 77-85 last year, 29 games behind the Dodgers machine that has dominated the division for the last seven years. The team will need some good breaks to contend in the near future as well, considering it was MLB’s fifth-oldest team last year and has only the No. 15-ranked farm system in MLB according to Baseball America.
Being well below .500, old and without a top farm system are usually the conditions seen before a rebuild, but the Giants had worked hard to remain competitive under Bochy, under whom they won three World Series titles.
The Giants will likely retain much of last year’s team heading into next season, save for two major free agents in franchise great Madison Bumgarner and setup man Will Smith.
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