Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/19/12
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

Brady, agent contacted AT&T in attempt to retrieve deleted texts

Tigers to sell at deadline, make David Price available

Report: Chancellor 'strongly considering a camp holdout'

Colts become favorites to win AFC with Brady suspended

Dodgers reportedly acquire Mat Latos and Michael Morse

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Troy Tulowitzki felt 'blindsided' by trade to Blue Jays

Drew Storen not happy about Jonathan Papelbon trade

Kraft apologizes for accepting team Deflategate penalty

RG3 reportedly showing improvement during offseason

Nick Saban addresses rumors of interest in Longhorns job

Giants owner calls Pierre-Paul debacle ‘very disappointing’

Panthers WR cited for marijuana paraphernalia, had child in car

Bruins-Canadiens Winter Classic details announced

Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez: Twin trade chips

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Canseco will live as a woman to support Caitlyn Jenner

Giants owner says nobody from team has seen JPP's hand

Conor McGregor admits he's intimidated by Ronda Rousey

NFL requests police guard Roger Goodell's Maine home

Baseball Hall of Fame changes voter eligibility rules

Atlanta Hawks should not be overlooked next year

Baseball's antitrust exemption: Its uncertain scope

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

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker