In joining the Los Angeles Dodgers after nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Andrew Friedman transitioned from being tasked to do more with less to do more with an abundance of resources. However, Friedman also inherited a roster with flaws, among them a crowded outfield and spotty group of relievers.
In the weeks leading up to the Winter Meetings that begin Monday, the Dodgers have been linked to rumors involving the pursuit of Jon Lester and Andrew Miller, and shopping one of their outfielders with Matt Kemp drawing plenty of attention.
While Friedman said he anticipated the rumor mill to be part of his new job, he called them ‘comical,’ according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I think coming in I understood and appreciated that it comes with the territory,” he said. “But to see it actually play out? … It’s comical.”
As for consistently being mentioned as a team interested in free agents, Friedman referred to it as a smart tactic by agents to involve the Dodgers:
It always behooves agents to include the Dodgers in any speculation.”
While Kemp has been the outfielder most associated with trade rumors, one executive believes Andre Ethier is who the Dodgers wish to trade. The notion was given some credence as it was later reported the Dodgers had a trade in place to send Ethier and Tim Federowicz to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Miguel Montero only to have D-Backs’ ownership refuse to sign off on it.
Thus far, Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi have pulled off six trades and three waiver claims as part of their effort to improve the overall depth on the 40-man roster. In adding some of the depth, Zaidi maintained they are roster moves that may also factor in to the larger trade many expect the Dodgers to make.