Today’s official announcement of extensions to Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy may fall under the radar today, considering this is one of several extensions the two have signed with the San Francisco Giants during their tenure together. Even the tweet from the Giants was boring.
However, there were some moves made today to continue the trend set by the organization years ago about how to handle their baseball talent. Just like with the talent on the field, the Giants have been surprisingly loyal to their talent off the field. Brian Sabean was hired in 1996, and has been with the organization ever since. He is the longest tenured general manager in the game. Now, he has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations to make room in the general manager’s chair for Bobby Evans, who has been with the team for 22 years and was the assistant GM under Sabean.
A portion of the official release:
Sabean has been promoted to executive vice president of baseball operations. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the Giants’ baseball department, including the immediate and long-term development of the major and minor league systems and the team’s growing scouting and international operations.
Giants Vice President and Assistant GM Bobby Evans has been named senior vice president and general manager and will manage the day to day operations of the baseball department. Entering his 22nd season with the Giants, Evans assists Sabean in all Major League and amateur contract negotiations, player acquisitions via trade or free agency and all areas of major and minor league operations.
The promotion of Evans is a smart one on two fronts. First, it allows the Giants to keep one of the best assistant general managers in the game and allows Sabean to continue to work with Evans on all baseball matters. It also does something far more important to the overall health of the franchise. It allows Evans and every other executive and employee to see that promotions from within are standard practice.
Big day for Bochy, Sabean and Evans, obviously, but also for Jeremy Shelley. Gets bumped up to assistant GM.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) April 3, 2015
The Giants promoted Sabean to a new role, and gave Evans Sabean’s old job and Jeremy Shelley Evans’ former role.
When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, there were many baseball experts and even Giants fans who did not approve of the re-signings of many of the players from that team. Players like Aubrey Huff, Freddy Sanchez, Cody Ross, Andres Torres and Pat Burrell were not as good in 2011 as they were in 2010 and the money spent to retain all of these players were looked at bad investments. The Giants even tried to compete with the offers given to Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria to stay. For any criticism the team received for these moves, there was something starting in the locker room and in the front office that off-season that has continued through 2015. The team made a commitment to the players and the people behind the scenes who were leading this organization.
For the first time in 52 seasons, the Giants had won the World Series, and the feeling in the organization was to continue to try to win with the group that got them there. What this has done has given everyone in the building a feeling of ownership in the success of the team and a feeling of family that is rare in the business world of sports.
It’s not just re-signing Huff, Ross or Torres in 2010, but also keeping Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Hunter Pence, Jake Peavy, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong. The Giants tried to keep Pablo Sandoval too. What this does is send a clear message to future free agents such as Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik that the Giants will continue to believe in them the same way they believed in so many before them.
Now, Giants fans and baseball are seeing the same thing in the coaching staff and the front office. When Tim Flannery, the team’s beloved third base coach, announced his retirement, the Giants organization made a decision strikingly similar to the ones they’ve made with their players. They promoted Roberto Kelly to be their new third base coach and promoted Bill Hayes to be their 1st base coach. Other people outside the organization could have been brought in to do the job, and maybe even done the job well, but it sends a better message to all the coaches in Sacramento, Richmond, San Jose and Augusta as well as with the major league club, that promotions are not only possible, but expected.
The promotions of Sabean, Evans, and Shelley has become the norm for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants three World Series trophies are a direct correlation to the team’s commitment to their players, their coaches and their front office.