Andrew Friedman had plenty to say on Monday afternoon, though most of what he had to say was anything but revelatory. But, at this point of the offseason, when Friedman speaks, we listen.
The Dodgers appear to have several question marks in their lineup and most rallies were cut short before any real momentum could take hold in the playoffs. That said, Friedman said the team will still focus on pitching this offseason.
Quotes transcribed by Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.
“For the most part we’re going to focus on pitching. This offseason is different than last in that going into next year we feel much better about our pitching depth at Oklahoma City,” Friedman said. “Obviously [Hyun-jin] Ryu is a big wild card and [Brandon] McCarthy will be back at some point. Then you have [Mike] Bolsinger and [Carlos] Frias, Jose De Leon, [Julio] Urias, [Jharel] Cotton, Zach Lee and [Joe] Wieland. We have a number of guys and that is a big difference for us just in terms of the depth we’ll have at hand.”
This speaks to one of the priorities Friedman had in place upon arriving in Los Angeles. Not only did the front office want to utilize the sizable resources at the Dodgers’ disposal, but rebuilding a once depleted farm system was of large importance.
With the foundation in place, the team can make tweaks as need be both in the starting rotation but in the bullpen.
“That being said we still need to round out our opening day pitching staff. Fortunately there are a lot of pitchers on the market, both on the free agent market and in trade conversations we’ve already had. Really locking in on rounding out our rotation and being opportunistic in the pen is where we’re focused.”
The GM meetings are not necessarily where trades tend to go down, but the Dodgers are obviously taking some time to see what all they can accomplish in the coming weeks. The tidbit that will catch everyone’s eye is obviously going to be the trades they’re talking to teams about, but “opportunistic” about the pen strikes me a little bit.
Now, this could be a semantics issue, but the bullpen was inconsistent for most of the season and downright awful during some stretches. I’d hope after that, we’d hear words like “priority”, “utmost importance” or even “desperately doing whatever we possibly can” when describing fixing that part of the roster. “Opportunistic sounds more like they’d fix it when and if it comes up, which isn’t exactly ideal.
“We’re pretty locked in offensively, outside of figuring out what we want to do at second base, whether that’s staying internal or external,” Friedman said. “But for the most part our position player group is pretty locked down.”
Again, I might be a little more worried about the tone in which Friedman describes the situation than I should, but “locked in offensively”? I mean… What? No person of sound mind and body could’ve watched that postseason performance at the plate and think to themselves: “Yup. We’re good.”
We’re insanely early in this entire process and there are only so many priorities one can place atop the list at any one time, so we shouldn’t make too much about quotes from Friedman, who is notoriously good at keeping details from the public during press conferences.
Friedman also wouldn’t speak to the chances the Dodgers have at bringing back Zack Greinke (case in point to what I just said a sentence ago). We’ll never know for sure whether the plan for these GM meetings actually match what Friedman is saying here, but given everything he said in its totality, he and the Dodgers have quite a bit of work to do.