Zaidi's decision to leave came after the San Francisco Giants offered him a contract to be the next President of Baseball Operations. The old regime of the Giants - while every front office in baseball has an "analytics" department - was definitely one of the more old-school groups remaining in baseball.
Zaidi has an arduous task in front of him as the Giants have lost a combined 187 games over the last two seasons and a payroll weighed down by several underperforming veterans.
An interesting sub-story here is Zaidi obviously knows a lot about the Dodgers organization, from the personnel to how they evaluate players and much more. "I am excited about this new opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting right to work".
So, Zaidi brings more of an analytical emphasis and strength. The Dodgers made the World Series each of the past two seasons.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Zaidi spent 10 seasons with the Oakland Athletics. The Giants also fired general manager Bobby Evans in September after the team went a disappointing 73-89 following an offseason where it traded for All-Stars Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.
San Francisco head of baseball operations Brian Sabean took a step back after the season. In 2009 he was promoted to from a baseball operations analyst to director of baseball operations, and in 2014 held that role in addition to assistant general manager. After arriving from NY as the assistant general manager in 1993, Sabean was promoted from within and assumed his position after the Giants finished with 94 losses in 1996.
Their president, Larry Baer, launched his search by saying the franchise longed for a "Next-Gen" executive to run baseball operations.