Dodgers News and Notes: Andrew Freidman on Covid, Free Agency, and More

(Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Major League Baseball finds itself at the beginning of Awards Week. Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Cy Youngs and MVPs will all be announced throughout the week, starting Monday evening.

There is only one Dodger up for any of these awards. Mookie Betts was nominated for NL MVP, along with Manny Machado and Freddie Freeman. Popular thought is that the award will go to Freeman, the first baseman for the Atlanta Braves.

As Dennis touched on yesterday, this figures to be a quiet offseason for the Dodgers, due to the team not needing huge upgrades in any one area and the nature of baseball after a season that happened in a pandemic.

Mike Petriello of today had an article outlining the top teams as they all stand right at this moment. The Dodgers were still named the top team due to most of their core team returning next season. They were followed by the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and the Houston Astros. The Dodgers were a cut above the rest with a Steamer projected WAR of 44.3. The Padres followed with a projected WAR of 39.8, and the next three teams were very close to that, with the Astros rounding out the top five with a 38.5 projection.

Also today, Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman was on MLB Network Radio. He said that the main focus of the Dodgers this offseason would be on the bullpen, like every season, and like we all thought. He also stated that re-signing Justin Turner is not at the top of their list. They will respect JT’s free agency and his desire to do whatever is best for his family. Ultimately, they are looking for a right-handed bat and a reliever or two.

Friedman also commented on the report that there are now nine Covid-positive cases within the Dodgers organization. Turner was the first case, found out in the middle of Game 6 of the World Series. Turner then came on to the field, celebrating the win with teammates. Max Muncy stated that they wanted JT with the team, and Manager Dave Roberts, himself a cancer survivor, made sure to sit next to Turner in the team photo.

When asked by the host, Freidman stated, “We have 400, 500 different employees, kinda all mixed across different areas and different places, and you know, some have contracted the virus. I think for the most part, to my knowledge, everyone who has it has taken the necessary precautions, and also feeling relatively good so I think from that stand point that’s the time period that we’re in right now….and it’s what we do when that happens and we feel good about the responsibility that our employees take… Its different people from every different department, and for the most part, people that live in LA County and work for the Dodgers but weren’t in the bubble.”

There is some mystery as to whether any other players have tested positive from Turner being on the field, and how JT got the virus when, by all accounts, he was adhering to protocols inside the bubble. The world may never find out how that was allowed to happen.


37 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: Andrew Freidman on Covid, Free Agency, and More

  1. If Andrew pretty much spoke about JT in the words you describe, it sure sounds like he wouldn’t be all broken up about it if he signed somewhere else. If that’s the case, I must admit I’m very surprised.

    I wonder if the right handed bat he’s looking for is a bench player or an infielder. If infielder, is he looking for a third baseman? Maybe all of this is just a way of driving JT’s price down. I guess we’ll know at some point between now and February.

  2. That totally surprises me also. Considering the fact that the fan base definitely wants JT back,. But I guess nothing that AF does should surprise me at all.

  3. It would be good to know if the NL will continue to have the DH next year. If so, JT has to be a very attractive option for maybe a two year contract. It will be interesting to see if they pursue Lindor and move Seager to 3B? If so, are they now willing to give up Lux? Their first and next move needs to be to extend Corey Seager for at least 5-6 years.

    1. I find “not a priority” an interesting choice of words. Maybe it isn’t a priority only because they already know what they are going to do. I don’t see Turner leaving LA as what would be best for he and his family.

      A lot of chatter elsewhere about Seager and Lindor, shortstop and third base. I still think Lindor is a fit here but only if he is willing to commit and only if Seager is willing to move. I don’t expect it, but the whole Mookie thing came as a surprise. I might be surprised here too. Frankly I see Lindor going east.

      Fan base. I had to chuckle a bit in reading that. How will the fan base play a part in ‘21? I have my opinion on that and it begins with Covid running amok under a current lack of a coherent plan and it ends with a successful vaccine implemented sometime next year. Until there are 50,000 butts in seats fans and what they think have no influence.

  4. I think I’d like a signing of DJ LeMahieu. He’s the best out there an it would solve a problem we have at 2nd base and a right handed bat. Lux will be an outstanding player some day i’m sure, but he isn’t ready just yet. we can not stay pact and think the rest of MLB is going to just hand us the title again. They are all trying to get better to take it away from us and the Padres are right there. The hardest thing in sports is staying on top because now EVERYONE is shooting for you.

    1. If we sign DJ LeMahieu, extend Seager first, then trade Lux and others for Lindor to play SS (of course must sign him long term). An infield of Muncy, DJ LeMahieu, Lindor and Seager for at least next four years would be dynamic.
      Lindor SS
      LeMahieu 2B
      Betts RF
      Seager SS
      Smith C
      Bellinger CF
      Pollock LF
      Muncy 1B

      If their is a DH, resign Turner for two years.

  5. Some stimulating Hot Stove conversation here this morning. Glad to see everyone involved.
    Very nice lineup Gary, but Mookie isn’t moving off leadoff. Doc learned that lesson last year.
    I’d use Mookie and Lindor 1,2 because of their speed, but that’s just my opinion.

    Also, I like your idea of playing both Lindor and Seager at shortstop so nobody gets their feelings hurt. That way we can move JT in at third and hope nobody notices we have 10 guys on the field. 🙂

    1. OOPS, so use to writing SS after Seagers name. That should obviously be 3B. I put Lindor leading off because he is a switch hitter, But, certainly Mookie can stay on top, with Lindor second or third. Probably not going to happen though, since Lindor will require big $$$ to sign long term and the Dodgers are also going to have to pay Seager, bellinger, Buehler and others over next few years. On the other hand, they can afford whatever, they chose to spend.

      1. Gary you have to remember also Kershaw is going to come off the books, Jansen, JT. Kershaw would get a new deal but not long term. They can afford it if they wish to pay like you pointed out. To be this good cost $$$

      2. It will surely be interesting to see what happens with Kershaw. He has been over paid, considering how many games he has missed due to injury. Yet, he is still very good. He is not one of those superstars where his future pay is partially to make up for lower pay received in his earlier years. If he truly would like to finish his career with LA, he needs to recognize he needs to do so for less pay, significantly less. Maybe some sort of bonus structure based on performance. Will be interesting. Same with Jansen, if he is able to regain form of previous outstanding performance.

  6. Haven’t seen Keith around here lately. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re OK my friend. Don’t be a stranger.

  7. For those of you who haven’t been following things this morning, Steve Cohen just had his press conference as the new owner of the Mets. Very impressive! Actually said he admires the way the Dodgers do things. He’s going to wind up grabbing some free agents away from us through the next few years because he already said he didn’t buy the team to make money and he’s one of the wealthiest men in America.

    LaRussa charged with a DUI yesterday for an incident from spring training back in Feb. The White Sox knew about it and hired him anyway. Stroman just tweeted that he wouldn’t play for the White Sox under any circumstances. That may turn out to be one of the dumbest hires in baseball over the past few years.

  8. I do not think they trade for Lindor or sign LeMahieu. If they fill 3rd base with someone other than JT, my guess is that they might pursue a trade for Arenado. He fills the bill of a RH power hitter which is more of a need than a switch hitting SS who’s power is from the left side. And he brings elite defense. He also is already under contract and the chances of him opting out are slim since he is a LA boy. He would be home and he would love that. Yes, his splits outside of Coors are not as good, but even if he comes close to his 162 average, .287, 35, 114, he is a superior offensive weapon to Turner. His numbers at Dodger Stadium are moot because he would not be facing the Dodger pitching staff. I just think there is a lot of dreaming going on about what someone wants to happen, and the reality of the current climate in major league baseball and the nation. Covid is going to have an effect on salaries and which free agents get signed quickly. The contraction of the minor leagues and the impact of the fact that this free agent market is going to be flooded with players. Just wait and see how many get non tendered come Dec 2nd. Then you will have a much better idea of what is going on.

    1. He’s actually not an LA boy, but he may have grown up rooting for the Dodgers. He’s from Lake Forest, went to El Toro High, which is down the street from where I currently live. This is Angel country.

      He may be a guy who can actually earn the $33 million he will average until he’s 35 He’s been in his prime for the last 5 years. Most start fading after about 32. Obviously won’t bang in LA like he has in Denver. AC injury. If you can do some load management on older guys they can give what Turner did, between 100 and 135 games, 4-5 WAR. So, maybe Arenado would earn his money. He’s 30 next year, has that AC issue. Sure would like to know more about that. In my perfect world I put Seager at third and just go get Lindor.

      1. I meant to say So Cal kid, But he was never an Angel fan. Lindor is a pipe dream. And you do not want to mess up the chemistry in that clubhouse. You move Corey and bring in a replacement? No, do not want to watch that train wreck especially since Lindor would be a rental unless they could get him to sign and extension, not probable, and what he is going to cost in player return. And besides, both Seager and Lindor are free agents after next season. If AF is so high on Lindor, he can wait and go after him when he has a ton of money coming off of the books. Well over 50 million. And his SS for this year is set without upsetting the apple cart.

      2. Bear on that don’t after Lindor post I have to disagree with you. You just don’t let talent like that walk right by and you don’t kick the tires and take a test drive. That has been the thinking with the front office for years. We need to stay in front of the pack. To say you dont mess with the chemistry, Whoever you bring in is an ripple in the chemistry! if that would have been the mindset we would not have gotten Betts! BTW, it’s been the Dodgers plans for years now to move Seager to 3rd base. The only reason why they hadn’t is because of JT’s contract. So it wouldn’t be anything to move him over there if Lindor is a serious thought. Lindor is a better fielder than Seager also.

      3. That is fine, you can disagree all you want. But if you check what your heart wants at the door, and do a reality check. AF is not going to give up a ton of talent for a one year rental not named Mookie Betts. They are not letting talent pass by. They are avoiding trading a ton of talent for a rental. They did it with Betts simply because they knew they were going to offer him a ton of money to stay. And chemistry in the clubhouse would definitely be affected adversely if you have a player, Seager, who has said numerous times that he is a SS period, and you try to move him to another position in his walk year? Ludicrous. It is not happening. But that is my opinion I do not care if Lindor is a better fielder than Seager. Who won the Series MVP award? Lindor or Seager. Seager might not be Lindor defensively, but he fits perfectly behind Betts in the Dodger lineup.

      4. I would only do it if Seager agreed to it. A guy like Lindor would not be a chemistry problem in the clubhouse. Far from it. Seager would be the problem and that is why it has to be ok with him. What a team that would be with those two and Betts.

      5. Scoop, like I said in a previous post, It has always been the plan of the Dodgers to have Seager play third in the majors. The reason it has taken so long to get to that situation was because of JT and his contract. So it’s not a surprise to him to have him move.

      6. It might not be a surprise to Seager that the Dodgers would like him to move to third, but he’s a free agent next year so if he isn’t happy with that he leaves.
        That why, if they want to re-sign him, they need to have a discussion with him before they send him to third.

      7. This is the reason I said extend Seager first and be transparent with him about playing 3B if they can deal for Lindor, adding another 5 tool player.

      8. I assumed the same thing 3 years ago Terry. And yet he’s still there. I don’t know how he feels about making the move, maybe he’s fine with it, maybe not. If not, then he’s likely to stay there unless he decides to leave via free agency after next year. I want Seager here for his bat. As a shortstop he’s a 0 dWAR player. Better defensive shortstops are available, but we can continue to win without one if we need to.

      9. I can agree with that. He’s earned the right to be asked or talked to about a move if that’s what the team is thinking. i love his bat as well, the only con i have had with him is his injuries. He’s had a lot for a young guy. If he can stay healthy from this point forward he can be one of the all time greats for the Dodgers.

    2. Bear I agree with you about the Covid part and how it’s going to play into the FA market. We were talking about what would like to see happen. AF will be the determining factor of course. i just hope he’s reading this…lol

      1. He might read a lot of blogs just for the humor and ridiculous trades that are suggested year after year. I read a list of the greatest stand up comedians, and what a joke that was. They did not even have Red Skelton on there who was just one of the best comedians in history and they had guys like Lewis CK rated over Robin Williams…absolutely ridiculous…oh, none of us made the list.

    3. I’d like Arenado at 3B sure but how likely would the Rockies trade him within the Division to LA? Anything is possible I guess.

      1. It all depends on how anxious the Rox are to dump Arenado’s salary. He has a full no-trade clause so he can pretty well refuse to go anywhere he doesn’t want to.
        If they decide to move him, he could tell them I won’t go anywhere but the Dodgers. Not saying he would do that because he might just want to get out of Denver and might OK a deal to any contender. But in the end, it’s his decision on any trade. Next year he can opt out, but he might have a hard time getting the same $ he has now.

      2. Well for one thing, he has veto powers. And for another, the Dodgers could offer a pretty good package for him. The problem would stem from the backlash from the fans. Most people here in Colorado where I live are totally against the Dodgers. As a matter of fact, they despise them. They have made 8 trades in the past.

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