After two seasons of winning the National League West division and falling short of reaching the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a significant change in the front office with the hiring of Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations.
With Friedman now in the picture, Ned Colletti relinquished his role as general manager and now will serve as a senior advisor to team president and CEO, Stan Kasten. Colletti bore much of the blame for the Dodgers getting eliminated in the NLDS as he was unable to upgrade a bullpen that needed help.
That being said, Colletti’s hands were tied as it was reported the Dodgers weren’t willing to part ways with any of their three elite prospects and as it was later revealed, Zach Lee was also on that list. In connection to the bullpen, Colletti also faced criticism for the contracts he handed out.
While the responsibilities of signing and acquiring players primarily is a reflection on the GM, Kasten accepted the blame and said Colletti shouldn’t face the scrutiny, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
That’s on me. No contract gets done that I don’t approve. It’s for none of those reasons and that criticism is unfair.”
Prime example of Kasten’s statement is blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox that landed the Dodgers Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and over $200 million in player salary shortly after the Guggenheim Baseball Management group purchased the team.
As for this season, Colletti’s re-signing of Brian Wilson and signing Chris Perez further added to the perception he’s made one poor decision after another. Adding Perez was certainly a bit of a gamble given his rocky 2013 season with the Cleveland Indians, though it was only a one-year deal.
At the time, re-signing Wilson was seen as necessary given the success he had last season after returning from a second Tommy John surgery. While it wasn’t necessarily fair to expect the same results over a full season, his regression was certainly more than expected.
With Colletti in a new role, Friedman and whomever he appoints as GM will now face the same expectations, pressure and scrutiny Colletti was under as the Dodgers look for their first World Series ring since 1988.