Recently a writer at NBC Sports speculated that the Los Angeles Dodgers were only interested in putting off the perception of pursuit of star players in free agency. Then Ken Rosenthal said the Dodgers were interested in Josh Donaldson, which isn’t quite equal with Anthony Rendon.
Indeed – reading between the lines – it seems like the Dodgers may just settle without landing one of the big prizes on the market again. However, that is only my opinion or gut feeling.
What’s more important is what Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says. And on Tuesday, Friedman spoke in response to the idea that the Dodgers aren’t looking for star players on MLB Network Radio.
Expect the #Dodgers to be in on the top of the free agent and trade market this off-season. pic.twitter.com/Zg6KDFp4BF
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) November 27, 2019
Moreover, Friedman says that the Dodgers are simply trying to hedge their bets. For example, if they can’t land Anthony Rendon; they settle for Josh Donaldson and call it a win.
“Your point is a fair one and I think it’s a mis-perception, we don’t have a cold or calculated number where we can’t go a dollar over. We try to get creative in deals and structure them in different deals and not just box ourselves in to just get one specific player or trade idea. We try to have as many options as we can. And by having as many options as we can it increases our odds. Lining up on trades or free agents are really difficult. Having as many ‘outs’ as you can increases your chances of lining up on something.”
The issue is there is often no comparable option when talking about a star player like Gerrit Cole. By comparison – Zack Wheeler is a fine pitcher – but there’s a reason Cole is the coveted player on the market.
Still, Friedman says that the Dodgers have a mindset of remaining aggressive.
“Our mindset for the most part is being aggressive and there was someone who wrote something about us being interested in a star player weeks ago. I said I can’t speak towards an individual player. But I think it’s safe to assume if there’s a star-type player available, we’re going to pursue it. It doesn’t always work for us within whatever constraints we have, and our mindset is to continue to do that.”
Finally, this seems like an odd quote. If I were the show host, I would ask Friedman to expand upon those constraints since the president of baseball operations said the Dodgers aren’t afraid to ‘go a dollar over’ the luxury tax.
Time will tell on the Dodgers’ true intentions, and whether or not they are serious about landing a top-tier free agent.
NEXT: Andrew Friedman Talks Off-Season Re-tooling