Former Tulane pitcher Brandon Gomes named general manager of Dodgers

Jude Papillion, Sports Editor

Brandon Gomes
Matthew Tate

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that Brandon Gomes has been promoted to the role of general manager earlier this month. His promotion comes after serving as the team’s vice president and assistant general manager and is the latest move in his rapid ascent through front-office ranks since his retirement from baseball in 2016.

Gomes was a pitcher on the Tulane baseball team from 2003 to 2007 and won in five of his seven starts as a true freshman. He only saw action in one game as a sophomore, forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and receiving a medical redshirt as a result. As a redshirt sophomore in 2005, Gomes played in 20 games, starting in 11 of them and finished sixth in Conference USA in wins and eighth in strikeouts. 

In his junior season, Gomes started in all 17 games that he appeared in, leading the team in starts and finishing second in strikeouts. Gomes also started in all 16 games he played in during the Green Wave’s 2007 campaign, tied for first on the team and pitched for over six innings in 10 of his starts. In his days uptown, Gomes averaged a 4.62 ERA, pitched in 351.0 innings and posted a 24-15 record. He graduated from Tulane with a double major in finance and business law. 

Gomes was selected in the 17th round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December of 2010. He made his major league debut on May 3, 2011 for the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Gomes is not the only top Dodgers executive to attend Tulane. Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman graduated from Tulane in 1999. Before leading Los Angeles’ baseball operations, Friedman served as executive vice president of baseball operations of the Rays from 2006-2014 and executed the trade that sent Gomes from San Diego to Tampa Bay.

Gomes stayed with the Rays until after the 2015 season ended and was briefly signed by the Chicago Cubs through June 2016. 

His time with the Dodgers began in 2016 when he was hired as pitching coordinator of performance, a position that allowed him to develop pitchers in the Minor Leagues. He was then named Dodgers’ director of player development prior to the 2018 season, a role he held until he was promoted to vice president and assistant general manager in March 2019.

The Dodger’s general manager position had been open since Farhan Zaidi left Los Angeles to become the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants after the 2018 season. In the meantime, Friedman served as the organization’s de-facto general manager, but it seemed like Friedman and the Dodgers were waiting to see enough out of Gomes to promote him to the position.

That time came on Jan. 18 when Friedman made the decision to promote Gomes as the 12th general manager of the Dodgers since they moved to Los Angeles. Gomes is just 37 years old and has only been out of professional baseball for six years. 

Despite only playing professionally for a short time, Gomes gained knowledge from playing for three organizations, experiencing injuries of his own and being optioned to the Minor Leagues. His further experience through roles with the Dodgers allowed him to become a leader in baseball’s farm system and to become very knowledgeable in baseball operations. 

The Dodgers, who fell to the World Series champion, the Atlanta Braves, in the NLCS last season, are now on track to see even more success with the duo of Friedman and Gomes leading baseball operations. Friedman played a huge role in the Dodgers’ accumulation of star talent, leading to a 2020 World Series title and two other World Series appearances since taking the job. As farm director in 2017, Gomes worked to develop star pitchers, including Walker Buehler and Dustin May, and later played a major role in the Dodgers finishing at the top of baseball in ERA and walks and hits per inning over the past three seasons.

Gomes will now work even closer with Friedman as both look to bring more championships to Los Angeles. In Gomes’ introductory press conference, Friedman said “I think just his ability to connect with people, and then what stems from that. You kind of get a sense through this, just how curious he was as a player, how curious he is now in this role — and his natural leadership qualities. You take all of that together, and I think it’s a pretty rare executive profile.”

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