Zaidi: Dodgers' baseball ops leading manager search

GM says while ownership is supportive, they aren't driving process

Zaidi: Dodgers' baseball ops leading manager search

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The baseball operations department -- and not ownership -- is driving the Dodgers' managerial search, said general manager Farhan Zaidi.

Club officials left the General Managers Meetings on Thursday, with Zaidi having said the first round of interviews would conclude this week. The initial slate of contenders, believed to number nine, will be trimmed to three or four, he said.

The club hasn't confirmed or denied that the nine candidates are: former big league managers Bud Black, Bob Geren, Kirk Gibson and Ron Roenicke; big league bench coaches Dave Martinez, Dave Roberts and Tim Wallach; plus Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler and University of Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad.

Zaidi countered speculation that ownership has jumped into the process and said the baseball operations department has driven the search "100 percent."

"These guys are all guys we, as a front office, vetted, we talked to people about, we developed the candidate list," Zaidi said. "[CEO] Stan [Kasten] and ownership have been very supportive of the process and interested in how things are going, but we've certainly been the drivers.

"[Ownership is] being kept aware of the candidates and generally how things are going, and our hope is when we bring some guys back, we'll bring them in front of some owners for a little face time."

The Dodgers list five primary owners: chairman Mark Walter and partners Magic Johnson, Todd Boehly, Bobby Patton and Peter Guber. In addition, Tucker Kain is chief financial officer and managing director of Guggenheim Baseball Management, the official ownership group of the team.

Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said they will have a manager hired before the Winter Meetings, which start Dec. 7 in Nashville.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.