Dodgers Opinions: Andrew Friedman Finally Got His Man

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From some Dodgers fans’ perspectives, Andrew Friedman has not had a great career. Missed World Series wins and missed free agent signings had fans thinking he would never get the Dodgers over the hump. But this time, he came through.

Over this past winter, the Dodgers missed out on the two biggest free agents on the market. They did offer pitcher Gerrit Cole a huge contract, but Cole wanted to be a Yankee, so a Yankee he became. They also were in talks with Anthony Rendón, but he wanted nothing to do with the “Hollywood Lifestyle.”

In the 2018–2019 offseason, the team explored giving then free agent Bryce Harper a huge contract. He wanted a very long-term deal, ultimately getting 13 years from the Philadelphia Phillies, but the Dodgers did not want to offer that much of a commitment at the time.

But, last February, Friedman and Company pulled off a huge trade. There were complications with it, to be sure, and for a while Dodger fans were not certain that Mookie Betts and David Price would actually be coming to Los Angeles. As we all recall, the Los Angeles Angels pulled out of a trade that would’ve sent Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson to Anaheim, because the Angels owner got tired of waiting around on the other contingent part of that plan.

The Dodgers front office persevered, ultimately dealing with the both the other two partners in the trade, the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox, on their own. The Dodgers traded pitcher Kenta Maeda to the Twins for relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol, and outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospect Jeter Downs to the Red Sox for Betts and Price.

Friedman in a press conference Wednesday said that they made that trade with the thought that they would be pursuing Betts to sign long term. Well, he accomplished just that.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers organization announced that they had signed Mookie Betts to a 12-year, $365 million contract. Including this year’s contract, the 27-year-old outfielder will be remain a Dodger for the next 13 years, making $393 million over that time.

This deal, in and of itself, is enough to forgive Friedman for any real and perceived missed opportunities. But there is so much more to take into account. Friedman has gotten many players via trade that will help now, and has simultaneously built a farm to supplement the current players as well as the new ones who have arrived through those trades.

Graterol has been stellar so far this Spring/Summer. The Dodgers have a boon of starting pitchers, so Maeda was expendable, and he also will get the full starting pitching job he deserves in Minnesota, where he is reportedly slated to have the No. 2 slot in their rotation. Pitcher Josiah Gray has been turning heads in Summer Camp, a prospect brought to the team through a trade that had sent Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds in the 2018-2019 off-season.

The Dodgers now have two former MVPs roaming their outfield and three total on the team. They have two former Rookies of the Year in Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. They have multiple players who would be future ROYs, in Gavin Lux, Gray, and Keibert Ruiz. They have the perfect mix of veteran players, superstars, and up-and-coming young talent, and that is all thanks to Friedman and his front office staff.

It’s not like Friedman also hadn’t tried to get the Dodgers over that proverbial hump in the past. He made the trade for Yu Darvish, and we all know what happened there. He made the trade for Manny Machado, and again, the World Series ring didn’t come to fruition. But this feels different.

Not lost in all of this is that the organization which first brought a black man to the Major Leagues finally has a marquee black player again. This man will be the face of the organization for more than a decade, and especially in these times, it’s needed and beautiful to see.

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The Dodgers may not win the World Series this year. They may not win one next year, either. But I have no doubt they will win one soon, and that will be because Friedman has played chess and put together a squad that could win in any one of these next few seasons, and will continue to do so down the line.

In a world that’s currently full of a lot of crap, it’s time to really revel in being a Dodger fan. For right now, we can bask in what is yet to come, and it all looks fantastic.

 

24 thoughts on “Dodgers Opinions: Andrew Friedman Finally Got His Man

  1. I don’t see him as “the face of the organization.” Perhaps “A Face”, what about Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler? They are from/of the organization. They are our native sons, not Betts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have him.

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  2. Good point Andy, we finally have another marquee African American player, and how ironic that it should happen this year. Maybe Andrew made more than one statement with this signing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mookie seems like as great a person as he is a player which fits right into the present day Dodger culture. Hopefully he and Price can inspire some LA African American youngsters to give baseball a chance. Good guys to look up to!

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  4. This is the kind of stuff that Bear usually fills us in on but since he doesn’t seem to be here this morning, I’ll do it:
    1) Gore added to 30-man roster
    2) May optioned
    3) Tonight’s starting lineup will include Kike at second, Barnes catching (Smith will catch 3 of the first 5 games), Joc in left, Pollock at DH.

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  5. I’m surprised they kept Gore. And Kiki over a Taylor? Taylor has been killing it! Must be some analytics with Cueto. Hopefully Betts is starting!

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    1. Betts has demanded a trade. AF working out the details to send him to SF for Longoria. It’s a good deal for us. We’ll save millions. 🙂

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  6. No better way to build up excitement, and viewers to this crazy season, than to make a huge signing one day before the season starts. The ratings are going to be higher than they would have otherwise been, AF is a genius.
    If we could only hear those words from bear😀

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  7. Andy, after this whole depressing off season, this must have been a joy to write a fun, positive article. I could feel your enthusiasm as I was reading. Good for you, and I hope this is the start of a bunch of great articles about a great Dodger team, and season.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes we do jeff, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this coming. I thought AF would wait till the end of the season, to see how well Mookie and the team fit together. AF must have seen what ever he needed to see, to jump in, and make that kind of commitment.
    Andrew likes a good deal, and if you think about it, if there was no COVID, Mookie probably could have gotten more money,

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    1. I was just as shocked as you Keith. I don’t know if you caught any of the press conference that AF and Mookie held at the stadium yesterday, but Andrew could hardly contain himself. You know how ultra low key he usually is and he just seemed ecstatic (however ecstatic Andrew Friedman could ever get). He made it very clear that he not only valued Mookie’s on the field talent but the kind of person he is. That’s one thing AF has really gone out of his way to consider when signing players and it’s paying off.
      I was also really happy to hear Mookie say that once he got a fair offer he didn’t need to shop himself around because he loves everything he’s seen here, from the players to the front office, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I did not see the press conference, it’s surprising to hear him talking about taking a fair offer, he had already rebuffed the Bosox twice, he left the impression he was going to go to free agency no matter what, and let the free market determine his value. I wonder if that was a misconception, or a change of heart?

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    1. What I saw was that the money was within what he had wanted, and he had already seen enough of the organization to know that he would be happy in LA. I think he didn’t want to go back to Boston at all

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    2. I think our offer was higher than what he rejected from the Red Sox and also the whole virus situation is made this winter’s free agency a very uncertain thing.
      If Boras was his agent, things might not have played out this way. We got lucky – he’s with a different agency.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What is y’all’s big season predictions? I’m going out on a limb and say that as much as I love Will Smith and his game and I think he is the future for us but Austin Barnes finds his bat and takes the starting job at least for this year.

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    1. I’ll be very interested to see what kind of year Smith has. I don’t think Barnes will ever again hit the way he did in 2017. He’s been here for 5 seasons now (although the first two were very few at bats) and he’s only hit over .210 once, in 2017. I wonder if Kersh let Doc know that he would prefer Barnes to catch him or if some other factor played into his getting the start today. Roberts said that Smith would catch 3 of the first 5 games.
      Remember we still have Ruiz and Cartaya, either or both of whom might turn out better than both Smith and Barnes.

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      1. Ruiz isn’t in Smith’s stratosphere when it comes to calling games or defense behind the plate so I’ll put my money on Smith. I don’t know enough about Cartaya yet to make an educated guess. I just know Barnes works his ass off and he’s got a solid bat hidden under there somewhere so I figured I’d make a bold prediction. I very well may be wrong and Smith holds the spot. It’s a win/win either way. It’s very interesting they have Barnes out there with Kershaw though. Praying CK regained a little bit of his fastball with a true offseason of rest where he’s not rehabbing an injury. Maybe Driveline helped him. If he can just be 91-93 instead of 89-91 it will make all the difference in the world.

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      2. I seem to remember CK had gained a couple mph in ST but I don’t remember seeing any velo numbers for Summer Camp. I’m guessing Driveline will have made a difference and he’s also getting more confident in his changeup which will make his FB seem faster by comparison.

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  11. If you look at kershaw’s numbers last year they were still pretty good, if Alex’s wish comes true, and kersh can hang at 91 to 93, he can be great again.

    My prediction Alex, is that Kershaw has a better year, and is back to elite status.

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