Can you have too much of a good thing? Oh, how we’d all like to find out.
The Dodgers, though, seem bent on testing the theory, and I’m not talking just on the field. On Thursday they added highly respected front-office executive Gerry Hunsicker.
Hunsicker was most recently Tampa Bay’s senior vice president of baseball operations, a title he’s held the past seven years, where he helped a young general manager (Andrew Friedman) build the Rays into an expected annual contender.
He was also the general manager for Houston for nine seasons (1996-2004), leading the Astros to the postseason five times.
His title with the Dodgers will be senior advisor, baseball operations. The team’s official press release said he will aid General Manager Ned Colletti and Chief Executive Stan Kasten with “his expertise [in] international scouting and development, pro scouting and minor league development.”
Perhaps most telling, the release was careful to point out that while he was with the Rays, Hunsicker “was instrumental in helping to create significant presence in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Brazil. In 2009, he also oversaw the Rays' expanded efforts in Asia and Europe.”
This hiring smells suspiciously like a Kasten maneuver. Kasten made it clear since he arrived in May, he wanted the Dodgers to have greater impact in the international market. The Dodgers signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42-million deal in June. With the new collective bargaining agreement capping international spending next season, money alone will no longer be a magic elixir.
Hunsicker will begin his 35th season in the major leagues, and that’s a lot of useful -- and respected -- experience.
This is addition without subtraction, the Dodgers’ makeover ongoing.