Rumors have been swirling around Josh Byrnes and the Dodgers ever since he was named a front-runner for the vacant GM job, and those rumors didn’t calm down yesterday when he was spotted watching an Arizona Fall League game with Stan Kasten and Pat Corrales.
Josh Byrnes with #Dodgers' Kasten at Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Byrnes expected to join front office; position not yet specified.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 21, 2014
While new President Of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has only acknowledged that he’s “talked with a lot of people about a lot of things”, reports had him deep in conversations with Byrnes about joining the club. While those talks have widely been assumed to be about the open GM role, it could also be for the open spot to run the player development side of things with De Jon Watson now gone.
At his GM stops, Byrnes was hyped as part of the new generation of general managers, so the sabr side of things got propped up a bit more, but Byrnes was actually a record-setting collegiate player and moved his way through the ranks with the Indians as an advanced scout, assistant scouting director, and then scouting director. So while the reaction to my profile of Byrnes’ history as a general manager was understandably pretty tepid regarding his place in that role for the Dodgers, Byrnes has a much more intriguing profile on the player development side of things.
Granted, one wouldn’t necessarily expect a guy whose last two jobs were as general manager to take a demotion so easily, but a title like Vice President Of Player Development wouldn’t be a step too far down at all (on par with Logan White) after two failed stints as a GM. And I think that’s a possibility a lot of people haven’t considered much, but a job that I would be far more excited to see Byrnes take.