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Dodgers: Re-Evaluating Andrew Friedman’s Off-Season

Reviewing Friedman’s offseason in the wake of the Mookie Betts trade.

Thanks to Andrew Friedman, Mookie Betts is now a Dodger. After failing to lure Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon to Los Angeles (actual Los Angeles) in free agency, frustrated fans chalked up this winter as a Friedman failure.

Leading up to this 2020 season, fans began to wonder if Friedman had the stones to trade away top prospects for a proven superstar after the Francisco Lindor negotiations fizzled.

A fan base thirsty for a championship did not buy Friedman’s trio of pitcher signings, Blake Treinen, Jimmy Nelson, and Alex Wood, as “win now” moves that put the Dodgers over the top.

The “they’re not trying win a championship” train promptly rolled into the station.

“Stan Kasten and the Dodgers want to stay under the Competitive Balance Tax.”
The Dodgers are cheap.”
“Friedman won’t trade prospects for superstars.”

Time to re-evaluate. 

Not only did Friedman trade his 2018 top prospect and a current Top-100 prospect in a package for a young superstar on an expiring contract, he also traded for a 34-year-old starting pitcher under contract through 2022. I repeat, he gave up two highly valued cost-controlled assets for a possible rental. And you thought you knew Friedman.

Friedman’s aggressive pursuit of Betts proves at least one thing – the Dodgers will not be satisfied with just another division title this year. This is a push-your-chips-to-the-center-of-the table move that fans were clamoring for.

Best part is, Friedman still has a couple stacks left. 

No disrespect to the Mannys, but Mookie Betts is better at this point in his career than when either Ramirez or Machado arrived at Chavez Ravine. Ascending superstars of his caliber aren’t available often and Friedman pounced.

Manny Ramirez came to Los Angeles at the tail-end of his career and still produced prodigious hitting stats (.332/.594/1.032) en-route to two playoffs runs but was a complete defensive liability.

The impressive 25-year-old Machado arrived in July of 2018 as a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner. 25-year-old Betts was a three-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, two-time Silver Slugger, 30/30 player, and most importantly, a League MVP.

Neither Ramirez or Machado were five-tool players when they came to the Dodgers. Betts stands eye to eye with Cody Bellinger and Mike Trout in the best all-around player conversation-figuratively of course.   

Another key reason Friedman was able to acquire Betts was his willingness to take on David Price’s contract. Price is past his prime and isn’t worth $32M a year, there’s no debating that. However, Boston is reportedly paying half of the remaining $96M which is a much easier pill to swallow for a legitimate number three starter. Friedman still got value out of one of the worst contracts in baseball.

To be fair, this trade is not without risk. The Dodgers might lose Betts in free agency next winter, Price could continue to battle injuries, and Alex Verdugo has the potential to be an absolute stud for years to come. Maybe Jeter Downs pans out as an everyday shortstop.

The risk-averse Friedman placed the biggest wager of his Dodgers tenure on Mookie Betts and a starting pitcher he knows better than anyone in Price.

Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon may have won big paydays, but Friedman won the offseason.

Dodgers: Andrew Friedman Happy to Have David Price the Teammate in LA

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Number one fear in life is dying without ever seeing a Dodgers Championship.

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  1. He made the move we all wanted and it’s going to be a really exciting season with tremendous possibilities but the pressure is on like never before because Betts wants a 12 year 420 million deal which means he is likely gone after one year. If we don’t win it all we could be regretting this trade for a long time. Obviously the Dodgers will still be good for years regardless but guys are still developing and we aren’t likely to make another big move like this again. This is the one championship caliber roster for the time being

    • I agree. I think Friedman did a great job of putting the Dodgers in serious contention this year. I may be the eternal optimist in the face of recent years events, but I think they’re going to win it all this year if they maintain a fighting, winning attitude to go with their talent. I also like the additions of Price (at half price), Graterol (at 100mph), Wood (at reduced price), and Treinen (possible Kenley 2.0). Can Betts be signed beyond this year? It looks like a long shot. But Friedman’s job is never done. He should be be working on a plan right now. One thing is certain, Betts will playing somewhere after 2020.

  2. Don, if Dodgers don’t win it all in 2020, it most likely won’t be due to anything Betts and or Price did or didn’t do. It once again could be Roberts still demonstrating a lack of ability to properly manage the lineups and especially the pitching when it comes to October.

  3. We didn’t all want this deal…
    What we wanted was the Dodgers front office to be able to for sign free agents. not trade future prospects for a rental. let me be clear if we don’t win in 2020 we will be looking back at Freeman going while
    so you did it you got rid of the future of this team and what you acquire did not get us any closer to a championship.
    The only reason why he had to trade those players away is because he didn’t get a deal done let’s be clear about that as well hes never been able to sign a top free agent.

  4. I originally gave Friedman a “B+” off-season because of the Mookie Betts trade. Should have been an “A” but carrying David Price’s 3 year $48 million contract drops the grade to a “B+”. Then earlier today we read the article from Boston media on Verdugo recording women getting assaulted on video but didn’t do a thing to help, that move Friedman’s trade grade back up to an “A” for getting rid of this potential headcase Verdugo. (How in the world did LA media not know about this?)

    Then I saw Friedman sporting a new godfather looking beard, that itself put Friedman’s off-season grade to an “A÷”.

    • Your ignorance is why the truth was already told regarding this case. Maybe you should check your sources before you smear Alex. This reflects back on you when you make these ignorant comments. Fact check please….Your the definition of the telephone game … if you don’t know what that is look it up. ?No comment needed I wouldn’t believe a word you say and I hope anyone that reads your posts never believes you.

  5. La press pretty much write what they are told by the dodgers. That has always been the case if you want your special considerations from the dodgers. No reason for them to work, do the job then lose their privileges.

  6. verdugo great outfielder,but the only one that needs to replaced is polelicker. only dodgers can afford his contract. play joc and not polelicker. right big question, is dave roberts , lacks manager qualities. the right team is in place,do not have right manager

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