Brian Sabean rejoins Yankees after 30 years with Giants
Brian Sabean is returning to the Yankees, three decades after leaving for San Francisco and watching from afar as his former prospects led New York to four World Series titles in a five-year span.
“Somewhat of a strange twist of fate after 30 years to rejoin the organization that I started in,” Sabean said Tuesday after the Yankees hired him as executive adviser to GM Brian Cashman.
Now 66, Sabean helped lead the Giants to World Series titles in 2010, ‘12 and ’14. He was San Francisco’s general manager from 1996 until 2014, then was promoted to executive vice president of baseball operations from 2015-18.
Shifted to an executive vice president role when Farhan Zaidi was hired as president of baseball operations after the 2018 season, Sabean worked under a contract that expired Oct. 31.
“I expected to do more or be more involved. And in some cases, it didn’t turn out that way," Sabean said. “I still have a great passion for the game and I really have been exposed to almost everything in the game and almost run every department you can in an organization. So I think I needed to be in a place that I could give back, be a mentor, contribute at any level at any time and be an on-call doctor.”
Because of issues involving his extended family, a move to Florida was desirable. The Yankees’ spring training camp and player development complex are in Tampa.
Sabean will report to Cashman and joins former Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry in a front office that includes assistant general managers Jean Afterman and Mike Fishman, and vice presidents Damon Oppenheimer (domestic amateur scouting), Kevin Reese (player development) and Tim Naehring (baseball operations). Hendry moved to the Yankees before the 2012 season as a special assignment scout.
“I hope to be a utility tool and voice opinions when needed and work in areas that he may specifically want more thought or advice on,” Sabean said.
A graduate of Eckerd, Sabean was an assistant baseball coach at St. Leo in 1979 and at the University of Tampa from 1980-82, then was Tampa’s head coach in 1983 and ’84.
Sabean worked for the Yankees as a scout in 1985, then as director of scouting from 1986-90 and vice president of player development and scouting from 1990-92. He moved to the Giants in 1993 as assistant to the GM and vice president of scouting/player personnel in 1993 and was promoted to senior vice president of player personnel in 1995.
“I was a link in the chain,” Sabean said, referring to a group that included Gene Michael, George Bradley, Bill Livesey, Mark Newman and George Bradley. "The Tampa consortium, they would call it. It really was a think tank. I look back, we were probably best in class in scouting and player development. To part of that or to watch that grow and then when I left to go to the Giants, see it come to fruition, was extremely gratifying.”