Bochy, Sabean extend contracts; GM moves up

Duo has led team to 3 World Series titles in past 5 seasons

Bochy, Sabean extend contracts; GM moves up

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just because the Giants decided to preserve the management tandem of Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy doesn't mean that the organization is content with the status quo. Far from it.

Affirming reports that proliferated 24 hours earlier, Sabean and Bochy received contract extensions through the 2019 season Friday. But the job security conferred on both men only partly reflected the team's unprecedented success. Despite winning three of the last five World Series, the Giants realized the necessity to change the structure of their hierarchy in general and Sabean's duties in particular.

Sabean thus received a promotion to executive vice president of baseball operations. Previously the Major Leagues' longest-tenured general manager, Sabean will become more proactive in evaluating players who could make an impact upon the Giants. This includes personally scouting the dynamic international performers who have eluded the Giants in recent years. Sabean's altered emphasis also will help prepare the Giants for the imminent reality of a worldwide amateur draft.

"To stay current in today's game, you have to run out internationally at the spur of the moment," Sabean said at an AT&T Park news conference. "You have to be involved firsthand in developing your own opinions on your own players through the Minor League system, including who to trade and who not to trade. I spent countless hours in the video room, and more so in rooms [where] we have banks of televisions, trying to watch three or four games at a time. Now I'm going to be able to go out and see those games firsthand, whether it's a free agent-to-be or more so a player for the July Trade Deadline."

Bochy, who had been signed through 2016, owns a 1,618-1,104 career managerial record with the Giants and San Diego Padres. He leads active managers in victories and consecutive years managed (20).

"I couldn't have a better situation -- who I work for, the players I have, the staff, the ballpark, the fans, the city," Bochy said. "I look forward to making new memories."

Sabean, who became San Francisco's GM in 1997, is truly the one who's poised for a fresh experience. Since Sabean's no longer "married to a day-to-day Major League schedule," in his words, 22-year club employee Bobby Evans was elevated to senior vice president and general manager. In his previous role of assistant general manager, Evans increasingly absorbed tasks that Sabean formerly handled, such as initial trade talks and negotiations with free agents.

The Giants thus joined several other clubs, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, operating with front offices consisting of what Sabean called a "two-headed monster."

"Bobby's more than ready to be a general manager," Sabean said. "We've continually put more and more on his plate as the years have progressed and he has come through with flying colors with every assignment."

Sabean will retain the final say in baseball-related matters -- along with club president Larry Baer, who weighs the economic impact of each move.

"We do have the veto power; we do have the endorsement power," Sabean said.

Sabean also has more freedom to go wherever he believes it's necessary to evaluate players. He indicated that he'll simultaneously compare the Giants' methods in scouting and player evaluation to those employed by other organizations. "Quality control," as Sabean said.

"We need to find out: Are we the Joneses, or do we need to keep up with the Joneses?" Sabean asked rhetorically. "Are we engaging in the best practices in all departments? It's going to take me some time to sift that out. Our guys do a great job, but, again, when you win three championships in five years and you know how tough it is even to get to the playoffs, we want to find a way to keep this going into the future."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.