Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/12/14
The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed a couple of free agents. No, not those kinds of free agents; but the kind that may be paying dividends long after Albert Pujols has hung up his cleats.
Gerry Hunsicker has had a lot of success building teams that can’t afford a ton of free agents.
Thursday, the Dodgers announced the hiring of Jerry Hunsicker as the Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations. Say what? Translation: Hunsicker, a front office exec who has worked for various MLB teams since 1978, will be in charge of revamping the Dodgers farm system.  This front office addition follows the August hiring of architect Janet Marie-Smith who was placed in charge of overseeing a revamping of another kind, Dodger Stadium.
Hunsicker, like Dodgers president Stan Kasten, has succeeded with organizations not known for their forays into free agency. He was hired as the Vice President of Baseball operations for Tampa Bay in 2005 and helped mold the once-perennial AL East doormat into a team that has made three postseason appearances in the last five years. Hunsicker scouted heavily not only in well-known baseball hotbeds such as the Dominican Republic but also looked into Asia and Europe.
He was the GM of the Houston Astros from 1996 to 2004.  During his nine year tenure, the Astros went to the postseason five times and had only one losing season.   Hunsicker may have his work cut out for him given the Dodgers recent minor league history.
The farm system last produced a current “impact” player in 2006.  The Dodgers drafted Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw out of high school that year.   Although a 2008 draft pick, Dee Gordon, won the starting shortstop job this past spring, you have to go all the way back to 2003 to find the last time the farm system produced an everyday position player still playing a major role with the team. That year, the Dodgers drafted outfielder Matt Kemp and starting catcher AJ Ellis and acquired a minor league outfielder named Andre Ethier in a trade with Oakland.
Smith will be in charge of looking for ways to upgrade the 50+-year old Dodger Stadium structure. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from City College of New York and a bachelor of architecture degree from Mississippi State University. Her most recent position was with the Baltimore Orioles as their Vice President of Planning and Development. She has worked for the Braves and Red Sox in similar capacities.
Janet Marie-Smith was hired to improve 50+year old Dodger Stadium. She got good reviews for what she did with an even older stadium, Boston’s Fenway Park.
Under the ownership of Frank McCourt, fans could only sit and watch as the Dodger Stadium restrooms deteriorated, the traffic and parking became a mess, and concession lines seemed to grow longer and longer. And given recent developments, it is quite possible Smith could have two properties to manage one day.
The proposed new football stadium in the heart of downtown Los Angeles has hit a wall, though the stadium proponents are saying it is made of just cardboard.
AEG, the conglomerate behind the new stadium, is up for sale. Publicly,  AEG execs are saying the stadium proposal will continue to move ahead even if the company is sold.  However, a potential buyer of AEG’s assets, which includes the Staples Center, home to the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings,  is the Guggenheim Group. They happen to own the Dodgers.  Rumors have been circulating for years that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would rather see a new Los Angeles football stadium built on the land surrounding Dodger Stadium. The perception is the NFL would have more control over the design of the stadium and any revenues generated by parking, etc.
I wonder if Smith will get paid double if the NFL comes to Dodgerland.
 
 
 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Marshawn Lynch agrees to new contract with Seahawks

Marques Colston restructures contract, will remain with Saints

Syracuse loses scholarships, vacates wins, on probation

Bryce Harper on Nationals: ‘People want to see us fail’

Gary Bettman on shootouts: 'Fans like the way the game is'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Indianapolis Colts to part ways with Reggie Wayne

Report: Jets to release Percy Harvin

NFL teams shed Top 5 salaries, eye free agency

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall in trade with Bears

With Hunter Pence out, Giants have options

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

One NFL Draft prospect decapitated a Sports Science dummy

Jeanie Buss says Lakers will celebrate Kobe’s 20th season

Winners and losers in the Brandon Marshall trade

Photo of plane by Giants' Larry Donnell in NY Times

WATCH: Matt Harvey looked fantastic for the Mets on Friday

Timeline of Yankee captains

Reggie Miller shares great Jordan trash talking story

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Who is the 'franchise player' at each sports network?

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners, losers in Marshall trade

Timeline of Yankee captains

Reggie Miller shares great MJ story

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall

With Pence out, Giants have options

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.