Dodgers: No Pressure on Friedman to Do Anything Drastic
The Dodgers’ off-season has hit a dull pace along with the rest of the hot stove. After signing Joe Kelly and trading away Puig, Kemp, Wood, and Farmer, the Andrew Friedman patiently awaits his next possible move.
Dodger fans and the rest of the baseball world eagerly wait in anticipation of their team’s next moves. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned and after they finally pick a team it could trigger off a flurry of moves. The Dodgers seemed to be interested in Bryce Harper at the beginning of the off-season but now it remains a mystery if the Dodgers are still involved.
For the Dodgers, they have bolstered their bullpen already by signing Joe Kelly. The rest of their club will be the same minus Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and perhaps Yasmani Grandal. The bullpen as it is will be one of the best bullpens in baseball especially if Kenley Jansen can get past his heart issues and turn back into one of the most dominant relievers in baseball.
The starting rotation will consist of the same starting five that the Dodgers ended their 2018 regular season with. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda will make up what figures to be a top three rotation in baseball. Then there are still the youngsters who will work themselves into the rotation at some point like Julio Urias and Dennis Santana.
Then there is the starting lineup that remains unclear but if the season started today, Austin Barnes would start behind the plate, Alex Verdugo would start in right field, and left field would consist of a platoon with Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez and others like Chris Taylor. Cody Bellinger would be the everyday centerfielder while Max Muncy and David Freese would split first base duties.
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The Dodgers would go out and win 90+ games with their roster as it is currently constructed. Sure the playoffs would be a crapshoot but that’s how it is every year, the Dodgers have won out with their depth and clutch performances. You could argue they would lose the World Series again but as we’ve learned by now, there are no guarantees in the postseason let alone the World Series.
Andrew Friedman will likely acquire another catcher, whether it’s to be the primary catcher or platoon with Austin Barnes. Beyond that, there is no pressure for him to make any drastic moves. He can wait out the market and if Bryce Harper is willing to take a shorter term deal then he will be a Dodger, but only on the Dodgers’ terms.
While Friedman could get aggressive and try to trade for a J.T. Realmuto or Corey Kluber it’s important to remember that the team the Dodgers start the season with is rarely the team they end the regular season with.
Realmuto’s price could drop at mid-season as the Marlins realize they are entering the last year before he departs for free agency. There will also be prized bats available like Nick Castellanos who would be a rental player for whoever acquires him. Free agency is the time you build up most of your roster but for an established team like the Dodgers, Andrew Friedman doesn’t have to dive head first into the free agent pool.