Dodgers hire Andrew Friedman from Rays

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Dodgers hire Andrew Friedman from Rays
Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, right, takes questions during a news conference following a spring training baseball practice Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 06: (L-R) Manager Joe Maddon #70, General Manager Andrew Friedman, Pitcher David Price #14, Pitching coach Jim Hickey #48 and Bullpen coach Stan Boroski #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate Price's Cy Young award as presented just before the start of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field on April 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 12: Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with outfielder Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers during batting practice before Game 5 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 12, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, left, joins Ben Zobrist and Matt Moore for the presentation of their American League All-Star jerseys prior to a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, July 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, left, talks with Andrew Friedman, executive vice-president of baseball operations during baseball practice for their American League Divisional Series games Tuesday Sept. 30, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays will take on the winner of the Chicago White Sox-Minnesota Twins tie-breaking game. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Andrew Friedman, right, Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, gestures as manager Joe Maddon looks on during a season wrap up news conference, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays' season ended Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, right, talks with Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, left, and Rays senior vice president Gerry Hunsicker during practice at baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays presents pitcher Matt Garza #22 with a Harley Davidson motorcycle just before the start of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on September 24, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
New Tampa Bay Rays baseball players Johnny Damon, second from left, and Manny Ramirez, right, pose with Andrew Friedman, executive vice-president of baseball operations, left, and manager Joe Maddon, second from right, after announcing the signings of the two players during a news conference Feb. 1, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Andrew Friedman, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operation of the Tampa Bay Rays, speaks to media in the dugout during baseball workouts at Fenway Park, Sunday, April 5, 2009, in Boston. The Boston Red Sox open their season against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, left, talks with Elijah Dukes in the dugout prior to a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, June 14, 2007, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
New Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, right, holds up his jersey with Andrew Friedman, center, executive vice president of baseball operations, and Matt Silverman, team president, before a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Maddon had been a bench coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Fresh off another early playoff exit, the Los Angeles Dodgers overhauled their front office Tuesday.

They hired Andrew Friedman for the new position of president of baseball operations, while current general manger Ned Colletti will stay on in a new role as a senior adviser to team president and CEO Stan Kasten.

Friedman comes from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was executive vice president of baseball operations for nine years after being hired at age 28.

He was to be introduced at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.

"As I embark upon my next journey, I have only thanks and gratitude to the Rays organization and the Tampa Bay region," Friedman said in a statement.

Kasten called Friedman "one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today." Friedman guided the Rays to four postseason appearances, including division titles in 2009 and 2010, while overseeing one of the major leagues' lowest payrolls.

Dodgers Hire Friedman; Colletti Reassigned

In joining the Dodgers, Friedman will have baseball's highest payroll at his disposal, one that rose to a record $256 million this year.

Friedman will report to Kasten, who said he had been engaged in serious talks with Friedman over the last week. The Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs last Tuesday after losing in four games to St. Louis in their NL Division Series.

"It happened fast because our end happened fast," Kasten said. "None of us were ready for our season to end. It caught us by surprise."

Kasten said there will be more additions to Friedman's staff, and he deferred to the absent Friedman on whether the Dodgers will have a new GM.

"That is up to Andrew," Kasten said. "Whatever he needs to supplement, we're all for it."

He later said, "I expect to be involved in helping him."

With Colletti sitting next to him at the stadium, Kasten explained why he made the change.

"It was us being able to do better, get stronger and deeper," Kasten said.

Friedman is a former Wall Street analyst who joined the Rays in 2004 and worked as director of baseball development during his first two years. Under Friedman, the Rays posted the franchise's first winning season and won the AL pennant in 2008 despite a $51 million payroll, 28th among the 30 teams.

The Rays finished under .500 in each of their first 10 years of existence before finishing above .500 under Friedman from 2008-13.

This season, however, the Rays finished fourth in the AL East at 77-85 after trading away ace David Price to the Detroit Tigers.

Rays manager Joe Maddon has one year left on his contract and could follow Friedman to Los Angeles. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has two years remaining in his three-year deal.

"You should expect Donnie to be here," Kasten said. "That's my expectation."

Kasten said the Dodgers did not compensate the Rays to get Friedman, whose ability to understand the analytics that have transformed baseball proved attractive. Kasten said the team wants to "ramp up" its use of analytics.

Colletti appeared gracious in endorsing the hiring of his longtime friend. He and Friedman made some of their first trades as GMs of their respective teams to each other.

"He's a tremendous addition to this group," Colletti said. "He brings another view, a successful view. He has a great analytical mind."

During Colletti's nine years as GM, the team reached the postseason five times and won four division titles, but had early playoff exits the last two years against St. Louis. The Dodgers' latest defeat triggered speculation that Colletti's job was in jeopardy, which Kasten emphatically quashed.

"That's just silly," he said, his voice rising. "It's not even about this season. It was a good season. It was purely about what we're doing overall, our big picture, to make our front office the best it could be."

Colletti received a new contract for his new job. "Ned has done so much good work while he's been here," Kasten said.

Kasten said Colletti's knowledge and experience will be an asset as the Dodgers continue to build their farm system, which was gutted under former owner Frank McCourt, who drove the club into bankruptcy before being forced to sell one of baseball's glamor franchises.

Colletti said his new role involves helping Kasten and Friedman, although it has yet to be clearly defined. He rejected the suggestion that he had been demoted. Kasten called it "moving aside."

"A lot of times in these situations pride and ego get in the way. I refuse to do that. I believe in the organization," Colletti said.

He noted that his nine-year tenure was long, "especially these nine years because it hasn't been smooth as glass," an obvious reference to McCourt's tenure when Colletti was handcuffed financially in trying to improve the roster.

"I look forward to this franchise being the greatest," he said.
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