He didn't take the traditional route into the baseball scene, earning a B.S. in economics from MIT before earning his Ph.D in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, initially joining the A's as a baseball operations analyst in 2005.
Zaidi is second in line under general manager Billy Beane, as David Forst remains Beane's top assistant GM.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.