The Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman won a World Series and Executive of the Year in 2020. All in all, one heck of a year for the President of Baseball Operations. To celebrate both of those huge victories, we wanted to highlight some of his greatest moves to get Los Angeles to the top.
We listed out 10 moves made by Friedman, including both free-agent signings and trades made. Some of these were done with the help of Farhan Zaidi, but we’re celebrating Andy today. With that being said, here is our list of Friedman’s best moves with the Dodgers!
#10 AJ Pollock Signed to a 4-Year Deal
I completely understand if you haven’t been entirely satisfied with AJ Pollock in a Dodgers uniform. But the truth is that Friedman got AJ at an absolute steal for what he can bring to a team’s lineup. At just a $12 million annual average salary, Pollock is fairly underpaid for a player of his caliber. Not to mention that the 2020 season should some promising signs for the future. All in all, one heck of a signing.
#9 Yasmani Grandal for Matt Kemp (plus more)
The Dodgers officially acquire Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin from @Padres for Matt Kemp, Tim Federowicz & cash considerations.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 19, 2014
Dodgers fans don’t exactly love Yasmani Grandal given his performance in the postseason. But Friedman made his presence known early by trading away Matt Kemp in his first month as the President of Baseball Operations. The trade not only shed the roughly $75 million left on Kemp’s contract, but it landed Grandal in the process. He would go on to be one of the most offensively productive catchers in all of baseball for the next 4 years.
#8 Max Muncy Signed to a Minor League Deal
The “diamond in the rough” signings by Friedman will always be one of my favorites. The Dodgers picked up Muncy a month after he was released by the Oakland A’s, and it turned out to be one of their greatest pickups. He hit 70 home runs through his first two seasons in Los Angels, ultimately earning him a $26 million contract.
#7 Kenta Maeda Signed Out of Japan
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) January 7, 2016
Kenta Maeda signed a shocking eight-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers that was laced with incentives. The team wasn’t sold on Maeda’s medicals resulting in a very low salary. While Maeda is no longer with the team, he provided a whole lot of quality innings at a very low cost. He compiled 5.2 WAR over his 4 years in Los Angeles before being moved for Brusdar Graterol.
#6 Yu Darvish Acquired from Texas
Darvish probably won’t look back on his time with the Dodgers fondly when his career is said and done. But the truth is that Friedman landed the best pitcher available at the time, and he absolutely was part of the reason they got to their first World Seris since 1988.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 1, 2017
He didn’t pitch great in Game 7 of the World Series, but he was also facing a bunch of cheaters. Friedman also got Darvish for essentially nothing. It cost LA prospects Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy, and Brendon Davis.
#5 The Winter 2016 Signings
Never forget the winter when the Dodgers were facing the possibility of losing 3 very important veterans. Friedman wheeled and sealed to re-sign Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and Rich Hill to new deals in a matter of weeks. Hill got a three-year contract worth $48 million while JT got a four-year contract valued at $64 million. One month later, Jansen received a five-year deal worth $80 million. As you probably already know, all 3 guys were vital to the success of the team for the next couple of seasons.
#4 Chris Taylor Traded for a Bag of Peanuts
In June of 2016, the Dodgers finally gave up on former #1 draft pick Zach Lee. They shipped him off to Seattle in exchange for infielder Chris Taylor. While he didn’t impress immediately, his 2017 campaign was absolutely 100 times better than anything the average fan could have expected. Taylor has complied 12.3 WAR since he was moved to Los Angeles and continues to provide flexibility all over the field. As a result, he was rewarded with a two-year, $13.4 million contract before the 2020 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Chris Taylor from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Zach Lee.
— Vincent Samperio (@VinceSamperio) October 22, 2020
#3 Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer Sent to Cincinnati
This will forever be remembered as one of the greatest trades in franchise history for a lot of reasons. The Dodgers unloaded upward of $70 million in salary, opened plenty of payroll space, cleared two major league spots on their roster, and added prospect talent with one big move. They got Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray in return, and Downs ended up being a major piece in the Mookie Betts trade. If there was one trade that you could highlight as one to pave the way to a World Series victory, it would be this one.
#2 Mookie Betts and David Price to LA
The move that will be remembered for decades to come among Dodgers fans and baseball fans. Los Angeles sent Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs to Boston in exchange for Betts, David Price, and cash to offset Price’s contract. Even before Price has been able to throw 1 pitch for the Dodgers, we can confidently say that this is one of Friedman’s best moves. If Price ends up being a productive addition in 2021, the deal will only look better.
#1 Mookie Betts Signs a Massive 12-Year Extension
Dodgers fans went from worrying about never seeing Betts play a real game in Los Angeles to confident he would be around for his entire career. Friedman inked the All-Star outfielder to a massive 12-year extension worth $365 million, bringing his annual average to $30.4 million. The deal will keep him in LA through his age 39 season, and he’s already got his first World Series victory. When Friedman retires from his executive career, he’ll look back on this as his pride and joy.
Mookie Betts, Dodgers agree to 12-year contract extension that will keep him in LA through the 2032 season. pic.twitter.com/zLFOMc9wYE
— MLB (@MLB) July 22, 2020
What do you think, did we miss any major moves? Be sure to drop them in the comments below! We want to properly honor the Dodgers Executive of the Year. Thank you for everything Andrew!