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Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Loves Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, Per Jeff Passan

The Dodgers need a big move to get back to the World Series.

Andrew Friedman and Stan Kasten at Dodger Stadium.

Is this the year, folks? Will Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers’ ownership empty their pockets for star third baseman Anthony Rendon and/or ace Gerrit Cole? It appears that this might be the most likely off-season that they do so.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, one of the most reputable insiders around Major League Baseball, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has his sights set on the biggest names in free agency — namely Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole.

Here is the quote, courtesy of Ralph Mason Jr.

”I don’t know that there have been free agents of that caliber since Andrew Friedman came to Los Angeles that the Dodgers have liked as much as they do Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon.”

Passan shared this thought on ESPN LA’s Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ, and Travis on Wednesday.

Early indications point to the Dodgers actually opening the pocketbook for players other than their own for the first time under the Friedman regime. While recent history demonstrates that the Dodgers do ‘due diligence’ and then ultimately do not pull the trigger, this might be different. Ultimately, there is no reason for Passan to blow smoke.

Gerrit Cole might be a once in a generation free agent starter and simply put, the Dodgers would be stupid to pass on him altogether. For Anthony Rendon, while he does represent a seamless fit for the defense, he is also a major talent in the midst of his prime. On Wednesday, Passan doubled down on his feeling that Rendon to LA could very well happen.

What do you think? Do the Dodgers actually make the moves necessary to win a World Series or do they do more of the same? Buckle up… this will be a long and weird off-season.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

32 Comments

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  1. IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN! Just blowing usual Dodger PR smoke. Dodgers will pick up a bunch of reclamation projects and fading veteran players and have their PR machine convince fans they are great clubhouse guys! And, they are going to win the WS!

  2. Andrew Friedman and the front office must sign these two talented players (1) Gerrit Cole and (2) Anthony Rendon if they are serious about Winning it All 2020 an repeat on following years the opportunity and the timing is perfect. But the question is will they do it for their loyal fans that packed the stadium every home game and lead MLB on attendance since 2013 to 2019 this year of 3,974,309 setting MLB attendance record. We shall see how much they care very soon.

    • They will see how far they can push it before changing. Unfortunately I think by the time March comes around people won’t be outraged anymore, attendance won’t be affected and everyone will sheepishly gush over the stadium renovations. No one will care that they went cheap and pocketed all of their loyal money once again instead of going all in and giving back to the fans

          • Tired of all these rumors that just aren’t going to happen. Look for more of daily line up changes and Kiki and Chris Taylor with Austin Barnes and maybe some reclamation projects..

    • They didn’t do it for all the loyal fans who packed Dodger Stadium for any of the last 7 years since the signed Zack Greinke! Why should they change their spots now? Just remember a leopard can’t change its spots and the Dodger front office is now a cadre of leopards!

  3. This is such a narrow view of how to get better. There are lots of young players on the brink of being the next Cole and Rendon and trading for them is more exciting and doesn’t cost as much, plus you get a younger player.
    It’s easy to say let’s just sign these guys but Friedman will definitely try to improve via trade first. And that will take awhile, that’s one reason why free agents are getting signed later and later.

    • Yes all the sportswriters and many fans discount the facts. The Dodgers won 106 games last year while getting younger!! They have as Daniel stated several Young pitchers on the cusp of being great such as Urias, Gonsolin and May. There is simply no need to buy a pitcher.
      Third base I can see the logic of moving Turner. And Rendon is a terrific player. However they have Lux and if they move Turner to first and sign Rendon what do they do with Muncy and Lux? do they plan to move Seager to 3rd? Turner to first Muncy to 2nd and Lux to SS?

      • These guys aren’t playoff players that’s what you guys can’t seem to grasp. We know they won 106 games and they should when you have all that depth and talent over the long haul it wins out but it doesn’t mean you’re great and they are not, they looked terrible the first time they had to face an opponent who since May actually had a better record. This year they met their match in the nlds instead of World Series. A lot of these guys just can’t handle the LA playoff pressure that is why you don’t just run them back out there unless all you care about is division titles which I think some people do, I keep seeing comments like “we’re set up to win our division again in 2020 so all is good!”

        • The fact that FO ‘likes’ these 2 FA’s is all good but Dodgers being linked to players on top of FA class is like a broken record. The same ole same ole every off season and I am not convinced just yet that this off season will be any different at all. Again, Cole and Rendon will be in another team’s uniform in 2020 not named the Dodgers.

        • I believe ya got some truth in that saying of how many of these current players just cannot handle the LA Playoff pressure because all we have had to do to see that is watch these last 7 seasons of October baseball.

      • I think the FO separates the regular season from the post season as it should. Yes, the Dodgers won 106 games in the regular season and a big part of the reason why is the depth and versatility that the roster has. The post season however, is a different beast, condensed and shortened, each game meaning more. The Nationals proved as much, by clawing their way into the wild card game, building momentum and getting hot..

        I agree with you that the young pitchers we have are either very close to turning the corner like May and maybe even Josiah Gray or have even turned the corner already like Urias and Gonsolin. Signing Gerritt could make at least one pitcher expendable and allow the team to use the trade market to upgrade the bullpen.

        I think given Rendon’s admission that he doesn’t want to play into his mid to late 30’s, and the fact that the Dodgers offered a similar short term high value contract to Harper, makes this signing too easy to pass up. Rendon offers a younger, better defensive 3b along with a bat that gives the team a .300 hitter with 30 HR and 100 RBI year in and year out. But, the benefits are much more in my opinion because it also saves JT’s legs and knees which I would hope would increase his effectiveness on offense or at the least slow down any regression that could come.

        My concern is the middle infield… Seager has been reluctant to move from SS and it appears Lux has nothing to prove in the minors. If the Dodgers believe Lux is ready for every day play, then it may be worth considering who would be more valuable in a trade. We’ve heard the talks that Seager could be included in a trade for Lindor but, seeing his recent injury history (I’m not saying he’s prone) I question how much value he provides in a trade. Muncy, on the other hand I believe his value has never been higher coming off back to back 35 HR seasons could offer tremendous value and lesson the package that it would take to land Lindor and maybe Kluber, Betts or any other player the team decided to go after. I know Muncy on the block is not a popular opinion but, seeing the big picture, it has to be at least considered.

        • George, as far as Betts goes, I would stay away from him because he would only be a rental for 1 year, as he is certain to test the FA market after the 2020 season. Seager would not bring a good return on his own, meaning it would have to be part of a package deal to make that work. But since he’s among a plethora of LHB I do believe replacing him or another LH hitter for a solid RH bat would be beneficial to balancing out the lineup. They thought they did this by signing Pollock but we know the results of that one.

  4. The best thing that can happen to the Dodgers is signing Cole, first and foremost, because alongside Buehler, the Dodgers could have a Strasburg/Scherzer type one-two punch. This is the brass ring of the off-season. Then we need a Lindor trade. Must happen. I can’t take another season of our Boom/Bust offense with Orel/Joe gushing about how awesome we are. Then we need Verdugo to show up. The infield should be Turner, Lux, Lindor and Muncy. Pollach needs to earn his role, it not be given him just because of his contract. This all assumes that offseason trades of Seager and Pederson happen, assuming that such happens as the expense behind the Lindor trade.

  5. The Dodgers are already a playoff team, that is IF they put together a team that can beat the already stacked National and American league teams. Freidman has to start building a team that can beat the Nationals,Cardinals,Braves, Astro’s, Yankees. If one of them get’s Wheeler, then he needs to get Cole. If one of them get’s Rendon,then he has to get Lindor somehow. If one of them get’s Will Smith, then he has to get someone of equal talent. It’s a arms race and Friedman has been sitting on his hands while teams like the Nats and Stro’s and Yanks have been adding firepower while his teams have been adding Youth that hasn’t delivered in the post season. Time to get with the race for all of the chips Andrew. Anyone who thinks Cole or Rendon or Lindor is NOT a necessity, is drinking way too much Kasten kool Aid…..

  6. So just kick J.T. to the curb??? I remember this hype when we got Darvish, and of course, Machado…..Everybody hyped over Rendon but he also has an diva-like attitude, much like Machado. Oh well, they get paid to make the decisions, I don’t, but if they get rid of J.T. for Rendon I’m seriously gonna question their decision making skills! If they do and it works, I’ll be the first one to give them a mea culpa; til then, just gotta wait and see!

  7. I live in Whittier, Ca. I’m a true Dodger fan. My cousin was #33 Danny Ozark. What part of Whittier do you live in and shut up about Chase Utley. RR

  8. I’ve seen it time and time again where a player will have the season of his life then get a big contract and then regress. Be careful not to spend the bank on last year’s players. Be careful what we wish for!

  9. “While recent history demonstrates that the Dodgers do ‘due diligence’ and then ultimately do not pull the trigger, this might be different.” And that will happen again. The Dodgers will sound interested and act interested and then Friedman will say something like, “we offered a fair contract but the other side in the end didn’t really want to deal with us…” or “we just couldn’t come to agreement on the details or with his agent…” or some other cockamamie excuse just like they do every year. The proof is in the pudding.

    Since Friedman took over, what TOP free agent have they signed since Zack Grienke signed in 2012? You can count that number on one hand: ZIP! NADA! NONE. Pollock was only a medium level FA with a history of injury, even though he had a great 2018 season.Any others have been lower level players. Even Joe Kelly was only so-so and his signing was because of a good outing in the World Series. Any Top players that have been obtained have been obtained via trades and then only with the idea of them being rentals (Yu Darvish(?), Manny Machado, Brian Dozier (?), etc) I think Friedman likes to feel like he is a supreme judge of talent and of working the art of the “Deal” with people who he sees as equals, ie, other teams management. I don’t think he likes having to deal with player agents where they have something he wants but can’t use other players as bargaining chips… Therein is Friedman’s major flaw. His first major Top Free Agent will be one of his few outside of Greinke who he then famously let walk a few years later with nothing in return…

  10. One thing for sure is that Rendon would certainly balance out a lineup that is too LH and it’s been this way for a few years now. And it explains the need for daily lineup shuffling, especially against LHP.

  11. TRADE SEAGAR,MUNCEY FOR PITCHERS. MOVING J.T. TO FIRST, TO OLD TO SLOW TO SHORT. RENDON @ 3RD LUX @SS KAIKI @2ND, BELLI @ 1ST W/ A GREAT GLOVE, PLENTY OF OUT FIELDERS ALEX V. WILL BE BACK

  12. I would love will smith and Cole and a trade for Lindor we have so many prospects that for years to come. I mean beaty was a number 25 prospect, I know it would be like to tops lux, Catcher prospect pederson and maybe another one but Lindor would be worth it. Build your players and buy pitchers I always thought

  13. You need 3 stud pitchers in the playoffs and the Dodgers only had Buehler when it counted (Sign Cole). Bellinger needs to see a sports shrink before October and Roberts needs to shit can the analytics. Everyone keeps talking about May, Gonsolin and Lux but time is up. At least two of them must go for a couple quality relievers. Sign Rendon and BOOM! A World Series title.
    But wait I forgot, all the ownership cares about is filling the stands and TV deals.

  14. Get Cole , Rendon, and WASHINGTON NATIONALS pitcher trade Clayton Kershaw, let Ryu sign else where we
    tough minded pitchers to start and finish
    the job during the regular season and playoffs let’s not waist winning our division
    with all the offensive talents the Dodgers
    have or sooner than later those talented
    player’s will want to go elsewhere to the
    point!!

  15. To win the big one u need clutch hitting and dominate pitching so whatever LA can do to nail that down would be a great step- Cole and Rendon would be obvious upgrades – Maeda seems to have trouble going 6 or 7 as a starter but was great out of the bullpen and young guys like Alex verdugo and Matt Beaty and Will Smith ( finally a catcher that can hit!) and Gavin lux all show huge promise – Muncy did well in the playoffs but seager and pollock and bellinger underperformed and that’s a big reason we lost . Taylor needs to find his 2017 hitting consistency but how do u do that when you’re platooning all the time? – just because u have depth doesn’t mean it’s gonna work in the playoffs when guys are coming in cold In a high pressure situation .

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