From fans to experts, everyone with a moderate understanding of baseball knows that the Dodgers are facing a lot of pressure to make a big splash this off-season. The perception of having missed out on big-time free agents and trade targets in at least each of the last two winters stings even more after a shocking first-round playoff exit in 2019.
Even more shocking when you recall that the team won a franchise-record 106 games.
Still, any team that wins that many games can’t really need that much work, right? At least that might be what president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is thinking.
Winter Meetings preview: The #Dodgers star in offseason speculation every winter. With the payroll under control and a strong farm system, maybe this is the year they make it come truehttps://t.co/XwGiAPCZWW
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) December 7, 2019
In a recent article from the great Bill Plunkett over at the OC Register, Andy Friedman shares his thoughts on the situation.
I don’t feel like we need to shake things up just to shake things up. I actually think this was as focused, committed and driven a group as I’ve been around. So I don’t feel like we need to shake up to change the complexion of our roster in terms of personality or talent.
But we’re open to exploring different ways to increase those chances.
As Plunkett scribes, the Dodgers could take their current roster, unaltered, into the 2020 season and “be a serious contender for a championship,” per Friedman. And, while he’s not wrong, this is not the off-season to consider resting on your laurels roster wise.
Moreover, as the current roster stands, it’s missing a pitcher that was runner-up in NL Cy Young voting, and two veteran bench pieces that provided clutch moments and leadership to a bevy of rookies peppering the clubhouse.
As Friedman teases that the club has “flexibility to explore adding really good players,” this is not the off-season to tease the fan base. This is the off-season where action must be taken. Franchise altering talent can be had for just money and a draft pick (every big name player has a Qualifying Offer attached to them).
If Gerrit Cole ends up with the Anaheim Angels, that’s a shame. If Anthony Rendon ends up with the Texas Rangers, that’s an outright tragedy.
Andrew Friedman has spent the last three seasons working on being cheap while the club thrives on minor league talent mostly drafted by his predecessor Ned Colletti. However, thanks in part to some brilliant moves, the club is now armed with cash (around $48M under CBT) and a top-5 minor league farm system. Basically, Los Angeles is equipped to do close to literally anything it wants this off-season.
You want Rendon? Pay the man. You prefer Francisco Lindor? Put together a package around Gavin Lux and get him. You want an ace? Go overwhelm Cole or Stephen Strasburg and stop forcing Clayton Kershaw to do things he’s incapable of doing in October.
Just don’t sit here and say “I don’t feel like we need to shake things up just to shake things up,” Andrew.