Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is the gold standard in regard to baseball executives across Major League Baseball. He always does more with less and he appropriately and successfully spends big within the generous budget he’s given.
But he’s not perfect. No executive is. Not every move pans out the way someone envisions it. Nobody can predict unexpected departures, regressions, or choking in the postseason. Those are uncontrollable variables most of the time.
Even though he traded for Trea Turner and Trayce Thompson, signed Freddie Freeman, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, and discovered guys like Alex Vesia and Evan Phillips over the last couple seasons, Friedman didn’t fortify this Dodgers roster in a few areas as well as he could’ve.
In the end, there really isn’t much of an excuse for the 111-win Dodgers, who were historic in many ways, to have fallen short to the San Diego Padres, a team they destroyed for the better part of the last three years (14-5 against them in 2022).
But what if the Dodgers were stronger in a few key areas? Maybe that could’ve prevented the annual discussion of, “What happened?”. The concern here was that these decisions (or non-decisions) were fairly obvious to the average fan.
3 Andrew Friedman decisions that eventually doomed the 2022 Dodgers
3. Thinking Joey Gallo Would Be Viable Bench Option
Usually, the Dodgers can get the best out of players who are either struggling or have trouble “finding” themselves. But Friedman pressed too hard when he thought he could turn Joey Gallo around.
LA badly needed depth/bench help for the postseason. Trayce Thompson, for as good as he was in the regular season, couldn’t be relied on to replicate that in the playoffs with his lack of experience. Cody Bellinger, defense aside, has continued to be a liability, especially in the area that once made him an MVP. Chris Taylor was dealing with multiple injuries this year (one big one before the trade deadline, too), which limited his usage in the NLDS. As for Gallo, he saw ONE defensive inning in the DS. One. Didn’t get an at-bat. But every LA fan was convinced he’d “run into one” in October. Sure.
So why did Friedman think Gallo was a viable backup/depth option? The man hit .159 with a .660 OPS and 84 OPS+ in 140 games with the Yankee dating back to last year’s trade deadline. In LA, he hit .162 with a .671 OPS and 83 OPS+ across 44 games. Did the Dodgers really think he’d be revived in less than two months after experiencing the worst yearlong stretch of his career? It was the worst yearlong stretch in Yankees history for a full-time player and marked one of the worst in the league.
On top of that, the Yankees have seemingly revived prospect Clayton Beeter, who they received in exchange for Gallo. Double L for the Dodgers.