With the hiring of Andrew Friedman as the president of baseball operations, the Los Angeles Dodgers have entrusted the young executive with front-office matters.
Friedman said in his introductory press conference manager Don Mattingly would return in 2015 and he would lean on Ned Colletti and other team personnel to help Friedman get acquainted with his new team. According to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon, Friedman intends to retain the entire scouting staff:
The Dodgers are offering 2015 contracts to their entire pro-scouting and player-development staffs, according to a source. It also looks like Rick Ragazzo, who was a top assistant of Colletti’s and the director of pro scouting under his regime, will be back though it’s unclear in exactly what capacity.
While the Dodgers will have the opportunity to re-sign their scouting staff, Friedman will need to replace De Jon Watson, who was the vice president and director of player development. Watson accepted a role as senior vice president of baseball operations with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers’ Minor League system fell out of focus under Frank McCourt, which Stan Kasten said would change under the Guggenheim Baseball Partners. Kasten has reiterated that idea of thinking in recent days and bringing Friedman on board signals how much of an emphasis is being placed on developing the Minors.
Thus far, the Dodgers’ refocus on developing from within has produced Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias, and a handful of other prospects that aren’t necessarily of the same caliber but have potential. Pederson reached the Majors this season when rosters expanded in September, however his playing time in 2015 is largely dependent on how the outfield logjam unfolds.
Friedman said he doesn’t view the surplus of outfielders as a negative, but it certainly could stifle Pederson’s development with the Dodgers. As for Seager and Urias, their time with the Dodgers is likely two years away from arriving.