Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi came over to the Dodgers at the end of 2014. Ever since their time in Los Angeles began, they have done a great job of sticking to their plan and being patient when things go wrong.
The Dodgers have one of the best front offices in baseball and one of their biggest strengths is their ability to stay patient and not deviate from their plan when things go wrong. The 2018 season so far has been a big test for the Dodgers front office and they have aced the test so far. Despite losing Corey Seager at the beginning of the season, the Dodgers did not go into panic mode and they stuck to their plan.
The Dodger main plan for the 2018 season is to stay under the luxury tax threshold and rest the Dodgers luxury tax penalties to avoid draft pick penalties and being taxed over 40% for every dollar they are over the luxury tax. The Dodgers will acquire some type of help prior to the trade deadline later this month, but they will be patient and wait for the right deal to make sure they stay under the tax and acquire the help necessary to propel the Dodgers to a sixth straight division title.
This season the patience of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have been tested like no other. Not only did Corey Seager go down, but four out of the five opening day starting pitchers for the Dodgers have spent time on the DL. Even Walker Buehler who came up after opening day has spent time on the disabled list and he is still working his way back. The Dodgers could have panicked since they were down to their ninth or tenth starting pitcher on the organizational depth chart but the front office stayed the course.
When it was announced that Corey Seager would miss the remainder of the 2018 season, that is yet another time the front office could have grossly overpaid for Manny Machado, a rental for a couple of months. Instead, the Dodgers’ front office relied on their depth and versatility, plugging Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez in at shortstop and putting together wins more often times than not.
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This patience is nothing new for Friedman and Zaidi, they have shown a willingness to wait for the right deal. Last year prior to the trade deadline the Rangers were still asking for Alex Verdugo or Walker Buehler in return for Yu Darvish. The front office waited until the last possible minute and settled for dealing away Willie Calhoun who is a legit hitting prospect but he lacks a true position on the field. The definition of a designated hitter, something the Dodgers cannot use in the National League for now.
The trade for Darvish was announced so late the deadline had already passed and reports were out that Darvish was not traded. This month the Dodgers will once again attempt to wait out the market before acquiring a legit eighth inning set up man for Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers bullpen.
The Dodgers most obvious target is relief help and the Dodgers will not give in to any other teams. If the Orioles get desperate and lower their price on Manny Machado it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dodgers jumped in to potentially keep him away from the Diamondbacks, but it will be a move on the Dodgers terms, not the Orioles. With just a few weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline, it will be interesting to see who the Dodgers acquire.
The latest rumors have the Dodgers linked to a trio of Marlin’s relievers. If the Dodgers find a price worth paying they will bring aboard a few relievers at the deadline like they did last season in Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson, if not they will seek help elsewhere. The Dodgers front office has a plan, and by being patient and sticking to it they will reset their luxury tax penalties, acquire reinforcements, and set the Dodgers up for a very bright future.