By now we’ve heard the news. Andrew Friedman is now the President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a position that was created specifically for him.
Now that we’re done squealing like girls, let’s take a look at what this means.
The first is that Ned Colletti is not gone, but he might as well be. With the establishment of a baseball operations department and Ned Colletti being reassigned as a special advisor to Stan Kasten, it is quite clear that the Dodgers do not want Ned anywhere near major team decisions. Interestingly, with the front office shakeup that took place before the season ended, it seems as if the Dodgers are going to allow Friedman to revamp the front office to his liking. Expect the Dodgers to announce who the new GM will be in the coming weeks.
An easier task might be to see what this doesn’t mean for the Dodgers. If you think that this move will give the Dodgers a World Series next year, do not fool yourself. This team will still have a very expensive Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier eating up either bench space or outfield real estate. Likewise, Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe will still be on the roster next season. Throw in Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, and you have five players to whom the Dodgers will either owe large amounts of money or whom they will be reluctant to let go. Fortunately, that will give the Dodgers time to still have a winning team on the field while the minor leaguers develop.
Speaking of which, Friedman is praised mainly for putting a World Series caliber team on the field while working with a much smaller payroll than the Dodgers. For funsies, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, the team that made it to the World Series, was put together with a $43.8 million dollar payroll. Friedman is either a sorcerer or a guy that looks at more than just heart and grit. Using his fancy man maths with the highest payroll in the majorss ($269.8 million), Andrew Friedman will not only be able to put a team together for the future, he will be able to do so without bogging the team down with Colletti-esque contracts. I’m looking at you Andruw Jones.
Another plus to having a man like Friedman behind the wheel is that the Dodgers will have someone who will not be trigger shy during the trade deadline. Of course, earlier today, Dodger’s Digest reported that Colletti’s was prevented from doing something stupid, like selling the farm to bolster the bullpen. That still doesn’t explain Kevin Correia to its fullest. I’m not saying Friedman would have made a better decision, but his willingness to deal David Price to the Tigers for some young blood shows that he is future-oriented, which is a good thing for the Dodgers who suffered years of “win-at-all-cost-right-now” type of moves.
The future is always uncertain, but at the moment, it looks incredibly bright for the Dodgers.