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Dodgers name DePodesta GM
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02/16/2004 11:58 AM ET
Dodgers name DePodesta GM
Oakland's assistant GM replaces Evans in LA
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Paul DePodesta had been the assistant GM in Oakland since 1998. (Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)
LOS ANGELES -- At a press conference at Dodger Stadium on Monday, the Dodgers named Oakland assistant GM Paul DePodesta the new general manager in Los Angeles, replacing Dan Evans.

DePodesta, 31, joined the A's in 1998 under general manager Billy Beane. He has an economics degree from Harvard, where he played baseball and football. He was hired as a baseball operations intern by the Cleveland Indians in 1996, became an advance scout in 1997 and special assistant to the general manager in October of 1998, but was hired away by Oakland a month later. He has assisted Beane in player acquisitions and contract negotiations.

Evans was about to start the final year of a three-year contract at a $500,000 annual salary. When new Dodgers owner Frank McCourt announced that he would begin a search for a general manager less than three weeks ago, he said Evans would be "a legitimate candidate."

DePodesta becomes the Dodgers' sixth general manager in less than six years, following Evans, Dave Wallace, Kevin Malone, Tom Lasorda and Fred Claire. The Dodgers had only three general managers (Buzzie Bavasi, Fresco Thompson and Al Campanis) in the 36 years from 1951-87.

The new GM takes over a club that had the worst offense in baseball last year and made only minor adjustments during the winter, while the franchise was in the midst of a prolonged process to approve the sale from News Corp. to McCourt. That sale was approved by Major League Baseball Friday.

Evans, who spent 19 years with the Chicago White Sox, joined the Dodgers on May 31, 2001 as a senior Major League advisor to interim general manager Wallace. He was named to replace Wallace Oct. 3, 2001. He inherited a depleted farm system, a Major League roster bloated with huge, multi-year contracts and a distracting unhappy veteran in Gary Sheffield.

Evans attempted to create payroll flexibility by trading some of the highest-paid players -- among them Kevin Brown and Eric Karros -- and allowing free agents such as Brian Jordan, Andy Ashby and others to leave. He cleared the air by dealing away Sheffield. He acquired top setup man Paul Quantrill and slick-fielding young shortstop Cesar Izturis from Toronto for two minor league pitchers.

One of Evans' best decisions was to let pitcher Chan Ho Park leave through free agency and replace him with free agent Hideo Nomo, a dual decision that saved the Dodgers tens of millions of dollars and numerous games.

The struggling farm system under his direction rebounded and is expected to be ranked second in baseball when Baseball America releases its rankings this month.

However, in two seasons under Evans the Dodgers finished 92-70 and third in 2002 and 85-77 and second in 2003. They failed to reach the postseason both years, continuing a drought without a postseason win since 1988.

Evans was criticized for adding only outfielders Juan Encarnacion and Bubba Trammell to the offense this winter, although he said the uncertainty of ownership "complicated" his ability to make roster moves.

Field manager Jim Tracy also is entering the final year of a three-year contract.

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




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