Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers making a series of roster moves that surprised many and angered some, they overhauled the front office that included the hires of Josh Byrnes, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi. All three executives joined the Dodgers from smaller markets and faced the task of familiarizing themselves with a new setting on the fly.
The trio were part of the Dodgers’ brain trust that traveled to San Diego for the Winter Meetings, where the Dodgers began moving players like chess pieces in order to create a more well-rounded and fundamentally sound team.
One of the trades involved packaging Dee Gordon in a deal to the Miami Marlins and soon after trading Andrew Heaney, sent over from Miami, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In a matter of hours, the Dodgers traded two young players.
Byrnes, vice president of baseball operations, explained some of the difficulty tied to dealing Heaney because of previous experiences that would’ve dictated otherwise, via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
That’s a trade — in a vacuum — that you wouldn’t make in a small market,” Byrnes said. “A guy like Heaney, a six-year [club-controlled] pitcher, for a one-year player? Even though Kendrick is a really good player, that’s the one that went against our traditional instincts.”
A pitching prospect in Heaney would be much more valuable to a small market team, like Byrnes’ previous employers, the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. Or perhaps a club with an eye on contending a few years down the line.
That’s not the Dodgers however, who are balancing win-now while still keeping an eye on the future and simply are operating on a different, much larger platform; despite recent strides made by the Padres.
That being said, the Dodgers have also made more of a concerted effort over the last year to retain their top prospects rather than empty the farm system. And it’s the direction they’re expected to continue heading in.
While Kendrick is in the final year of his contract, the Dodgers certainly have the spending power to re-sign him after the season. At 31 years old, Kendrick is five years older than Gordon, and has been a steady force thus far in the middle of the lineup.
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