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Dodgers Front Office Would Need Change in Philosophy to Sign Big Free Agents, Says Gurnick

The Dodgers have not signed any big name free agents that have not been their own.

Andrew Friedman and Stan Kasten at Dodger Stadium.

At this point, the Dodgers are cheap. You can say it. After signing a massive 25-year, $8.35 billion TV deal with Time Warner Cable, you would think the Dodgers would go all-in to win a World Series and sign big free agents to lucrative deals. This simply has not happened — yet. The only big free agents the Dodgers have signed in the last five years have been Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and Justin Turner — their own players.

In an off-season that could see big stars like Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts traded, the Dodgers need to be involved. With the masterful Gerrit Cole and excellent Anthony Rendon up for grabs in free agency, the Dodgers need to make a play. Will they?

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com believes that in order for the Dodgers to make a genuine run at one of these players, the front office must change their entire philosophy. At this point, it is very much needed. Here is what Gurnick responded to a fan regarding the situation:

“The Dodgers are always rumored to be in pursuit of every big-money marquee free agent, but under this regime, the club hasn’t signed one from another club. Their biggest contracts have gone to Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, which maintained the status quo but didn’t improve the club. So it will take a complete change in philosophy for the Dodgers to land Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon or another such big name.

On the other hand, complicated salary-swapping multi-player deals are right in this front office’s wheelhouse. That might explain this week’s report by MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi that the Dodgers will try to trade for Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor.”

The Dodgers should be in on literally every free agent at every area of need from the bullpen to the top end of the rotation. Also, some right-handed power balance in the lineup would be useful.

We will see what the Friedman regime winds up doing this winter, but let’s be honest. It most likely will be more of the same. The Dodgers rumors will swirl, but nothing will come into fruition.

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.

13 Comments

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  1. You can take the boy out of Tampa Bay, but….The Dodgers FO remains locked into the medium market mindset. Even Billy Bean, who invented it, concedes that all it does is make you “competitive.” Competitive is fine. It gets you into the post season. But there is not the “risk” gene that makes you push your chips to the center of the table. The Dodgers have plenty of money to spend, but they would rather continue to tweek the margins, find a market inefficiency or two, stay under the luxury tax and keep the coffers stacked from the TV contract and the stadium attendance. There will always be a team out there who takes advantage of its “time” to win. It won’t be the Dodgers.

    • Exactly.
      If you took this current Dodger talent and had a better manager and real leadership in the FO, who loved the Dodgers and loved baseball, we would have at two rings by now.
      Whatever it takes to put seats in the seats. Dangle a few “This is our year” carrots with a whole slew of bobbleheads and they will come running through the turnstiles.
      I think the players know the Dodger will not be winning any titles soon. Look at the recent history.
      2017: “We got real, real close.”
      2018: “We tried.”
      2019: 1989-2016

  2. Sometimes I feel as if the front office would be satisfied, even if the Dodgers didn’t make the play-offs, as long as they keep getting nearly 4 million fans into the stadium during the regular season every year to pay the bills. As long as we Dodger fans keep coming through the turnstiles, to the tune of 48,000+ every home game, paying those high prices for tickets, parking, and the food at the Ravine, nothing much is going to change. The attitude of management could easily be “why change anything!” “Those “suckers” will keep coming out to games and hoping for a championship, no matter what we do or whether we win a World Series or not!”
    L.A. loves the Dodgers and will support the team no matter what management does. Too bad the management doesn’t love the fans equally as much, and do what needs to be done: (spend some money, trade some prospects, hire a manager who won’t choke under play-off pressure), so we can finally bring a championship to L.A.

  3. To be honest these sentences explain what will most likely take place no matter what. and because of this, I do not even want this team to be in the PS at all. That way we will be saved from the ineptness from Roberts on down.
    “The Dodgers should be in on literally every free agent at every area of need from the bullpen to the top end of the rotation. Also, some right-handed power balance in the lineup would be useful.
    We will see what the Friedman regime winds up doing this winter, but let’s be honest. It most likely will be more of the same. The Dodgers rumors will swirl, but nothing will come into fruition.”

  4. The rumors will be and always be that the Dodgers are somehow linked to one of the big name FA, however they will try lightly but it’s not in Friedman’s business plan/philosophy to pay for high priced FA it’s just not how he operates or what he is hired to do, his job is to put together a a good team by spending as little as possible it’s the reason the Red Sox wanted him so bad and hired a GM that learned this philosophy and how to do it from him, all in all it’s a business regardless how much money you have you don’t blow all your profit you find out how to make more business in their eyes and their bottom line it’s working,right or wrong, agree or disagree, the group that owns the business has the say so it’s their money.

  5. Correct, Charles, and because it is their money, we should not expect anything differen in the way things are done. It is a business, and winning a WS is not on anyone’s agenda, it’s as simple as that.

  6. Tim Rogers says it well in regards to this current line of position players:
    “The team in 2019 was too left-handed. Whether there were too many starting pitchers that were lefties or there were too many left-handed batters, change is needed. There was a lack of balance. At this point all options should be on the table to balance the lineup and get some consistency in the lineup”
    I couldn’t agree more

  7. Look I’m not rich enough to go to dodger stadium so I don’t make a difference. But I do pay a very high price to watch them on spectrum. So maybe I do make a difference. Anyways the cable deal is signed sealed and delivered so we can’t do nothing about that. But you rich fans that go to games pay that ridiculous parking price, food and beverages it’s nuts the money the Dodgers make every year. Yet we are fooled that the front office does everything they can to acquire the top talent. Please manny machado was a rental. They gave up nothing for him or Darvish. Stop going to games if this idiot Andrew Friedman and Kasten don’t start investing back into the team your money. Alrodis Chapman and Rendon must be in dodger blue next year. And maybe a blockbuster trade.

    • You’ll probably see Latos and Madson back in Dodger blue before Dodger ownership gets any big name player like Rendon or Chapman. Those players have rings, so it’s about the money. Money is one thing the Dodgers want to keep.

  8. There is no benefit for the ownership to win a World Series. 3.9 million tickets sold, $8 billion TV deal, for 20 YEARS!!! Paying anymore for no greater financial return is bad business. Ask Time Warner how their deal with the Dodgers worked out.
    The only way people will have any effect on this ownership is to stop going to games. Not in 2020, but in 2021 before season tickets are sold. As long as we keep packing the stands, why would they change? If fans drop off, the Dodgers will just respond with more and more bobblehead giveaways. $50. tickets for $.50 bobbleheads. Smart business. We are dealing with employees of the Dodgers, not Dodger fans. They were hired to make money.

  9. “The Dodgers rumors will swirl, but nothing will come into fruition.” And at this time next year we’ll be talking about how the Dodgers won 107 games and set records for most homers in a season but still got smoked by the Cubs in the NLDS when Bellinger and Seager combined to hit .139 with 17 strikeouts and Rich Hill gave up a dong to Rizzo in the bottom of the 10th in game 5.

  10. WE WILL HAVE TO SEE DROP IN TICKET SALES,DOWN 1M THEN MAYBE SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN. PAYING FOR TICKETS PAYING FOR PARKING IS NUTS. WHAT HAPPENED TO FREE PARKING WHEN GOING TO A GAME. DODGERS DO NOT DESERVE TO WIN WITH D.R. FRIEDMAN AND STAN K. CALLING THE SHOTS.

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