Why Do So Many Dodger Fans Hate Andrew Friedman?

If you are not of that ilk, then you will not be offended, but if you are, I have to ask… and I’d like to know:Why do you hate Andrew Friedman so much?Note:This is just not directed to LA Dodger Talk’s readers – This is across the blogosphere.

You may say you don’t but that is total BULL, and you know that.  You hate him!  You’ve hated him since he was hired and I simply cannot comprehend why.  Theo Epstien was hired by the Cubs and blew the team up.  They sucked and then rebuilt and won a World Series.  Jeff Luhnow did the same for the Astros.  Andrew Friedman was hired by the Dodgers with the explicit instructions to build up the farm and win in the process. He was not afforded the luxury of trading away talent for prospects and tanking to amass draft picks. To the best of my knowledge, that has never been done before… until Andrew Friedman came to the Dodgers 4 years ago.

Well, Friedman built up the farm system.  He built a front office and scouting staff second to none.  He took the Dodgers to the NLDS his first year. The second year he took them to the NLCS and the next two years he took them to the World Series!  Yes, they lost, but in his tenure he has made the payoffs 100% of the time and the World Series  50% of the time. Some of the blame has to go to the players.  Friedman put together a team that got there… and the players didn’t step up.

Some of you say that all the strikeouts and poor situational hitting is boring and criticize Friedman for that.  Well, guess what?  He is not happy about that either and decided to go a bold different directon.  He hired Robert Van Scoyoc (RVS) who could be best be described as aTed Williams Disciple.  Many of you want to call him a new age hitting launch angle guy, but he is so much more than that .  He’s all about cutting down on your swing and “pushing the ball” when you have 2 strikes.  He’s a guy who can have a huge influence on CT3.  He want to establish a better hitting environment and culture.  Some will say “Good Luck with that.”  You should know that between 2016 and 2017, the Astros did exactly that. That which gets measured, gets done.

… AND YET, THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! 

Are you kidding me?  He didn’t blow up the team.  He didn’t tank the team.  He kept them competative, just like Stan Kasten mandated and some of you still complain. GO TO KANSAS CITY!  (I wanted to say somewhere else) You deserve to be there.

Here’s where I really lose it: “It’s starting to look like the trade with the Reds is just a salary dump and not much more.” OMG!  Why would you even say that unless you have a deep-seated hatred of Andrew? Why on earth would you ask if the trade is simply a salary dump?  I’ll tell you why:  You hate Andrew Friedman.  Hopefully, it is not for what some think.  Hopefully you are just jaded because you are upet that the Dodgers have not won the World Series since 1988 and you just want to kick the cat in the driver’s seat!

It was just a few days ago that Friedman traded Puig, Kemp, Wood and Farmer for Homer Bailey and two minor league prospects.  Since has has not make another trade or signed a free agent since then, you are quick to assume that it was just a salary dump, because you hate Andrew Friedman.  HELLO?  In case you haven’t noticed, the activity this off season has been very light so far.  Four or five teams have dropped out of the JT Realmuto Sweepstakes because the Miami Jeters are asking for the moon and stars.  Other teams wouldn’t pay the asking price and neither will Friedman.  He wants Realmuto, but he is not going to trade Bellinger, Ruiz, Lux or Verdugo for him.

The Dodgers are still in because it makes perfect sense to trade for him with Dodger catching prospects likely a year or two away. Right after the World Series I predicted that the Dodgers would try to trade for Realmuto and I was roundly criticized.  Well, they are trying to trade for him and hopefully the Marlins price drops…. because Friedman is not trading Bellinger, Ruiz, Lux or Verdugo for him.  He might trade the two Reds prospects, Joc Pederson or Andrew Toles and a couple of other top prospects not named Ruiz, Lux or Verdugo.

Why even single out Friedman for a single deal when the market is slow?  Because you hate him, that’s why! There were about 550 major and minor league free agents at the start of the offseason.  There are still around 425.  Players are asking too much.  GM’s aren’t going to pay it. GM’s are asking too much for their players.  Other GM’s are not going to overpay. They have seen that the Dodgers have been most successful when they don’t do dope-fiend deals and they are copying them.

Bryce Harper is allegedly enamoured with the Dodgers and some “Insiders” have projected that the Dodgers are the team most likely to sign him.  I do not agree.  Friedman will not overpay for Bryce… nor should he. If Bryce truly wants to be a Dodger, Andrew will give him a good contract, but he won’t get the one Borass wanted… not even close. The Red Sox waited a long time to sign JD Martinez and it was at THEIR price, not his. I think history is going to show that Andrew Friedman had a big hand in causing baseball salaries to drop. Last year was the first time in 30 years that the average salary in baseball dropped.  

The Dodgers have been talking to the Tigers about Nick Castellanos, whom I am shocked many fans don’t like.  Yes, he is on a 1-year deal, but he will be 27 and the Dodgers would have an excellent opportunity to sign him as they will extend the QO to him. Some point to his defense, but he has improved and evidently wants to continue.  His best days are ahead of him – put him in a lineup where there are other good hitters around him and you will see him blossom.  If you trade for players based upon what they ARE or WERE, you have sight, not vision.

Andrew knew they needed a guy like Joe Kelley who could set up, pitch multiple innings and be a piece of the bridge to Jansen, so they got him quickly.  The Dodgers have identified Realmuto and Castellanos as players they want.  The Tigers and Marlins are asking for as much as they can get, but ultimately, they will have to trade those players.  Allegedly, the Tigers are asking for Ruiz or Verdugo.  Andrew won’t include either one.  So, he waits.  Maybe Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray are a part of a package for Casty. Throw in another prospect or two, not named Ruiz, Lux or Verdugo and I don’t think the Tigers can do much better. The worst case is that Nick puts up a monster season and the Dodgers end up with another draft pick and sign another Free Agent 3B in 2020 (pick one).

Friedman acted decisively in obtaining Kelly and dumping Kemp, Puig and Wood. He could have just not signed them and not extended the QO to Ryu if he wanted to just cut salary.  That would have saved him $37 million and maybe he could have attached Kemp’s contract to Joc, or CT3… shoot he could have attached Kemp to Bellinger and saved another $21 million if he just wanted to cut payroll.  If he just wanted to dump payroll, he would not have signed Kershaw. When people say that the Puig, Kemp and Wood trade was just a payroll dump, do you know how illogical that sounds?  In a vacuum it was a payroll dump, but in reality it clears the way for additional players.  Whether that happens now, in February or at the trade deadline remains to be seen, but if the Dodgers want to just dump payroll, there are  a lot better ways than that… and they wouldn’t have had to eat Homer Bailey’s salary. You have no argument! You just have an irrational hatred of Andrew Friedman and it is completely irrational, because he may be the best thing that has happened to the Dodgers in the past 30 years!

Dodger News

  • Allegedly, Yasmani Grandal turned down a 4 year/$60 million deal with the Mets before they lost interest and signed Wilson Ramos. That was a dope-fiend move.  He likely won’t get a deal close to that and there is a chance he has to come back for one more year.
  • … and we wait!

Photo Credit: OC Register

This article has 71 Comments

      1. In baseball the goal is to win a world championship. The Dodgers have not done that under Andrew Friedman. I’m not sure what wins you’re referring to.

        1. In Friedman’s first three years, he took the team a step further each year. Last year, they stalled out just short of the top again. The have not yet won the big game… yet! However, no team has had as good of a run as the Dodgers since Friedman was hired.

          He is doing it differently than any other team in that he should have blown it up when he arrived, but he built the farm and made the MLB team better every year. Tell me who else has done that.

          Maybe you would like to be the KC Royals: Win it all and suck 20 years before and every year after. This franchise is in the best shape it has ever been. I guess it’s all Friedman’s fault the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since he was 7!

        2. I think, Anthony Forkush, the first reference to “wins” is in your comment. The discussion is about accomplishments, of which there have been many.

  1. Wow Mark, that was quite the article you wrote there big fella! It almost sounds like you have a “man crush” for Friedman… just kidding! But you did make a solid case against the haters. Some people think change is a bad thing, others embrace it. There are others, who are willing to take a “wait and see” attitude, and they usually sleep better than others because of it. You can’t argue with the results… Friedman has done what he was told to do, and he has given Los Angeles a reason to cheer for the Dodgers every year! I like his body of work so far. But like every leader, he is only as good as his results take him.

    BTW, I agree with your comment about Grandal, he has drank the Kool-Aide and believes he is greater than his record says he is. He is a solid catcher, but he is not a superstar catcher.

  2. Funny Bumsrap, I do not hate Friedman I applaud him for making the Dodgers one of the best franchises in baseball. The Dodgers are an enviable franchise since his takeover. The all or nothing philosophy of hitting I attribute to zaidi. I get frustrated with the regular dumb… moves of Roberts. Friedman is responsible for those 2. The bottom line is that the Dodgers have been to two World Series consecutively. That is totally difficult to do. Great job dodgers! I just think this forum gives you a chance to express your opinion informed or not. Because anyone disagrees doesn’t make them haters we still love the Dodgers. I just think the latest trade got me excited for the next move. I thought there would be one. The trade was a nothing burger designed I think to cut payroll, attitude, and give room under the cap for other moves. But yes I question why do you give ryu 18 million if your worried about money. Ryu is a quality pitcher with injury history that no one would pay 18 million for. Does that make me hate Friedman, no but I just would like to know how he decided that move. Castellanos, a one year deal for a guy who can’t field. It might make sense if they can get him cheap. Realmuto, the marlins are delirious. I still like a healthy Kluber. It is a slow market and these other teams are very competitive and have to make deals in their best interest. For those that wanted Harper he could probably been had without the ryu signing. I don’t know if the Dodgers are really in on him but I doubt it. Friedman says they need a catcher and a rh bat which Harper is neither. I readily admit I have no clue what Friedman is thinking but I am grateful that the Dodgers are a top franchise much credit to Friedman. I am also grateful that I can express my opinion and that is all that it is.

  3. I’m not happy they traded Puig but I understand it. Castellanos has the same team control and similar arb salary projection as Puig hence giving away Puig to overpay for Castellanos would rankle me. I’d rather have Kemp than him too but that’s just me. The Farmer trade was made, time to turn a page. For anyone who thought this would be a fast process that’s not usually the case as it takes awhile for the market to form and prices to be set. Machado probably signs before Harper for example, lesser free agents like Pollock and Grandal have the draft pick and international slot money attached to them also. Trades take two to tango and if teams ask too much or players don’t line up Freidman sometimes brings a 3rd team in or just walks away. Whether the trade was just a salary dump is still not clear and won’t be until the $$ saved is invested in the team somewhere else. I will say the catcher market is getting very thin already.

    I compare what the Dodgers are trying to do to the Patriots. How do they stay on top for so long with low draft position and a salary cap? For one Brady takes less than the going rate as does Gronk. For another vet players take less to come there and compete for a ring. But the real genius is cutting loose or trading players about to cash in and replacing them with depth they have developed cheaply. They consistently hit with their mid round picks that fit their system and get coached up. They are always rebuilding while competing and always fit players into their system, not the other way around. And they have continuity at the top with Belichick and Brady. We may not like Freidmans methods at times but he is striving for a Patriots type dynasty, competing for the World Series every year. They have not won it all yet but will do so and soon on the current trajectory. It is a great time to be a Dodger fan!

  4. Hey, I like Friedman. No doubt one of the brightest people in the game today. Not sure where the Puig, Kemp, Wood trade is leading, but another week or two and we’ll know. Kluber? Still can’t figure out why Cleveland would want to trade him. Maybe, it’s all smoke. As to Realmutto, better to pass if the price remains high. Harper? Everybody may be looking at the whole thing wrong. Maybe ownership is driving that deal, just like they did with the Boston trade a few years ago. Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers are serious and aggressive about Harper. I’m sure the Dodgers would like a shorter deal and they definitely won’t go 10, but seven, maybe eight with an opt out after three. I’m guessing the owners want to make a big splash because of the competition with the Rams, Chargers and Lakers with Lebron. With this ownership group, it’s not just about baseball.

  5. How’d last years “salary dump” work out for the Dodgers? Pretty good I’d say. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  6. I for one am not a Friedman hater!!! I am powerless over upper mgmt. decisions and I gotta go with the flow… So far the flow is pretty damn good..,
    Yasmani ‘The Framer’ Grandal… Just put it to bed… Lets say he comes back!!! Two years ago it was the birth of a child and last year his wife leaving him for her maid of honor allegedly (Yikes)!!! What would it be this year???
    Joc??? I don’t really care….
    Muncy!!! Would you really want to see him go after 2018???
    When the readers start in with their trading frenzy, I always seek AC’s input to put things in order…
    Don’t forget, we have this hitting guru and his entourage in town that is going to transform the Dodgers into the 1927 Yankees…
    Now if that damn Doc don’t screw thins up!!!

  7. The reason people struggle with Friedman, is that he always tends to get the “cheap” option instead of the “best” option. This may be great for the owners cash-flow, but sucks when it comes to actually winning the world series. Getting the 3rd or 4th or 5th best pitcher on the market in 2017 instead of Verlander, cost the Dodgers the world series. Nick Castalanos instead of Harper would be another example, The Guigenheim Group probably loves him, but it is understandably frustrating for fans.

    1. I think you are somewhat confused:

      1. Ownership told Friedman to be under the Luxury Tax Threshold by 2018. He could not take on Verlander’s 2018 Salary and he did not settle for the 3rd, 4th or 5th pitcher. He traded for Darvish, who many regarded as the better option. Some people thought Verlander was about finished… me included! At any rate, the Dodgers existing salary obligations and the owners mandate mader Verlander impossible. That is not on Friedman.

      2. You evidently like Harper… and that’s fine, but he’s not Mike Trout or JD Martinez. Shoot, he might not even be Nick Castellanos!

      3. Fans are frustrated with not winning the World Series since 1988, but I would agrue that the Dodgers MLB team and the Farm System have NEVER been in better shape than these last 4 years under Friedman.

      4. Andrew is farm from perfect. The great Theo Epstien made some major blunders last off-season and Andrew has made his share, but he has gotten it right enough times that they are one of the best organizations in baseball.

    2. This just isn’t true Rusty.
      `
      Kershaw wasn’t the cheap option. Hill wasn’t the cheap option. Machado wasn’t the cheap option. Signing Anderson, McCarthy or Kazmir certainly wasn’t the cheap option. Re-signing Jansen or Turner wasn’t cheap.
      `
      They are only being cheap if you don’t look at the money spent.

      1. Yes Machado was not the cheap option, but if not Machado, then what? CT?

        As far as the BP goes (the big need for two years) dumpster diving has been the mo.
        Morrow was great, but a lot of relief arms that you wished never saw the mound.

        Anderson, McCarthy, Kazmir sounds and looks like the straw man argument. However you look at those signings they were disasters. Freidman was looking to catch lightening in a bottle with those three, and everyone knows the result.

        Hating Freidman? Hogwash, and a gross overstatement. Freidman doesn’t need to sign the latest and greatest FA, he just needs to address the team needs responsibly and timely – like not waiting until everyone that can help the team is signed.

        As far as building the farm system he gets an A. Holding onto prospects, and not gutting what he just built up he gets a B+ (you have to trade value to get value).

  8. Mark, I totally agree with your assessment of Friedman. He was given a mandate when hired and has exceeded expectations. Damn, look at the results since he has been in charge. I think many (including myself) are just so frustrated that we just can’t seem to win a World Series. Therefore, the attacks on the front office. It appears that FAZ was the person deciding lineups, pitching use, and hitting philosophy. Now that he is gone (good luck with the home run or nothing approach in SF) we’ll see if a new approach Friedman wants to use will lead to more wins and a World Series victory. We have had enough talent to win the last two years, but with players failure to execute, front office lineups that don’t make sense (really, Kike hitting 3rd in game five last year), and some head scratching moves by Roberts we have failed. I’m sure he is not done making moves and to consider the recent trade a salary dump is lunacy. Those that think that haven’t been paying attention.

    I say no to Harper. Boras has been selling tangibles that Harper would bring his new team and not so much his inconsistent performance on the field. Boras knows that Harper’s stats don’t warrant a 300MM – 400MM contract so he is selling the increased attendance, larger TV contract, and increased value of the team that Harper would bring. These things aren’t needed by the Dodgers being they already lead in attendance, TV deal, and second in value I believe.
    Castellanos is growing on me. His fielding doesn’t bother me. Hell, we had Matt Kemp in the outfield last year. And, it appears, he is working to improve his defense. But, he adds a needed RH with power heading into his prime.
    I know it’s only one year, but that’s a worse case scenario. If he is successful then we can try to resign him. If not, we extend a QO.
    And, I’m still on the Kluber trade and really in on Realmuto. His price will come down as the Marlins should know they need to trade him now or the return will only diminish. They have to know that what they are asking now is not going to happen. So, adjust expectations, get a deal done, and move on. Friedman has the patience and the necessary pieces to make it happen. I think Joc, Smith, and mid level pitching prospect should be enough when as is said and done. I mean come Miami, this isn’t Stanton, Yelich, or Ozuna we’re talking about.
    Carry on.

    1. Nice post, really agree with the last paragraph. If there is nothing there for JTR then who will they pick up instead? The FA catchers are down to Weiters, Maldonado, Hundley and Mesoraco who could all work as a one year stop gap but all a big drop off from Grandal. The relief pitcher market still has a ton of interesting options out there. If you really want to upgrade 2B for 1 or 2 years how about Lowry? If you want a cheap starter with upside how about Buchholz? There are a ton of potential moves still out there to be made and Freidman is playing chess, not checkers!

  9. Hating Andrew Friedman is fake news! He’s da man and over time will get it right way more than get it wrong! This is a marathon not a sprint. If we don’t already have the best, he’s close to the best. Now Andrew, go make the right calls for 2019!

    In Andrew We Trust….

  10. So – OK, I’ll take the bait. For starters, I don’t hate Andrew Friedman.

    I dislike the direction that baseball is going and am suspicious of the non-baseball types, including Andrew Friedman, who have been handed the keys to the game of baseball and are turning it into a game that is barely recognizable:
    1 – “Openers” instead of starting pitchers
    2 – Starters who either can’t go more than 5 innings or aren’t allowed to
    3 – An endless parade of relief pitchers
    4 – 3 true outcome offensive baseball that is increasingly boring
    5 – Endless platoons and matchups
    6 – The mistaken belief that “a walk is as good as a hit”
    7 – The belief that pitch framing is more important than actually being able to catch the baseball
    8 – A different lineup every day
    9 – Pitchers who don’t build up arm strength in the minors and end up with tissue paper arms
    10 – Baseball front office personnel who have never actually played baseball
    11 – Baseball coaches who have never actually played baseball
    12 – Baseball managers who don’t really make their own decisions
    13 – Computers who do actually make baseball decisions

    I could go on in the same vein but why bother? Everyone here gets the point. It’s not actually Friedman of whom I am suspicious – it is a game that is increasingly run by people like Farhan Zaidi, for example – he played Little League – that’s the extent of his baseball experience, but hey, he’s got a PhD from UC Berkeley in Economics. that makes him qualified to be the GM of a baseball team in today’s game.

    I don’t like the direction that the game is going and Andrew Friedman is at the forefront of it.

        1. I agree with a lot that Rick mentioned, and especially number 6.

          The way they value walks to hits, and the way they value strike outs the same as other outs, makes some hitter’s numbers, look much better then they really are.

          And this encourages hitters to have only that one dimensional approach at the plate too.

          And it makes all or nothing hitters, look much better production wise, then they really are.

          And all of this, slows down the game, along with the constant pitching changes, like Rick also mentioned.

    1. I think Ryu was given the QO because the Dodgers do not have the resources to trade for three major pieces.

      Kluber will cost too much. Ryu ain’t Kluber but the Dodgers have a number of rotation options. More than enough in my opinion.

      This is still my wish:
      1. Verdugo RF
      2. Turner 3B
      3. Seager SS
      4. Castellanos LF
      5. Realmuto C
      6. Bellinger 1B
      7. Muncy 2B
      8. CT3 CF

      Kike, Toles, Barnes, Freese

      I am afraid of Pollack and DJLM. Age and injury. This is a young mans game without the steroids!

      1. “This is a young mans game without the steroids!”

        This is why the players are on the short end of things with the current collective bargaining agreement. As things currently stand, players play for “nothing” in their prime on the assumption they will get paid in their declining years. Without steroids, those declining years are ready to start as soon as most hit free agency.

        Smart GMs have figured this out. The players union, not so much.

    2. You make a lot of good points, baseball is changing and not for the better if you ask old time fans of the game. But so are the other sports as well. The NBA has become a 3 point shot league and spacing the floor with shooters has made a dominant big man irrelevant. The NFL has become a passing league and the dominant running back has evolved to backs by committee with each having a defined role and 3 WR’s in on almost every play. Both leagues are going to younger coaches who ‘get’ and can implement these new strategies.

      I would like to see the DH in both leagues in baseball, plus expanding the roster size, plus electronic balls and strikes but they will never get saber out of baseball now that it is in. Freidman seems to be slowly realizing that there needs to be a better blend of the old and new. Hitting more like Ted Williams seems a good place to start. We have a team that embraces the new trends, has money to spend but will spend it wisely and has built up 25 man depth to 40 man depth and more. I like where they are headed but the road is long, winding and bumpy and can’t be viewed for only the short term.

      1. Vegas

        I have a lot of trouble watching pro basketball, because everything other then the 3 point shot, is in your face, one on one matchups.

        I like to see crisp smart passing, so I would allow zone defenses, to encourage more passing.

    3. Rick, you and I agree as to how we see how the game has changed, and not necessarily for the better. But with the changes that are evident, so must the decision makers change. Friedman is the best to handle the changing spectrum of the game. I was not a Zaidi fan, because he had no idea how to scout or value a player except by Moneyball standards. I do think he had too much of an influence on Roberts, and we will see how that change is manifested in the way Doc manages this year. I may be wrong, but I believe that Friedman did not like how the game played out with the crazy lineups and platoons. I think Friedman needed reassurance from Doc that he will manage differently this year. Let his eyes dictate changes more than the metrics. Friedman was always adept at valuing talent, and made some very good trades and draft picks with the Rays. He had a much more limited budget, but that made him better to evaluate what might be. Friedman has also always looked long term; 2- 3 years down the road. If Seager and Belli were not represented by Boras, I do think that one or both would have extensions by now.

    4. There’s interesting stuff here by Rick. But innovation shouldn’t be disliked because it is innovative.
      `
      Case in point, #1. What’s wrong with this other than “it’s different” or “that’s not how I remember Baseball and its roles.” Same thing applies to platoons, or different lineups. They don’t affect the aesthetics of the game (more on that in a bit.)
      `
      One final comment and one that really bothers me. Who the fuck cares if a manager/coach or GM every played the game before? I honestly have no idea why this impacts anything.
      `
      That said, baseball is harder to watch now. And that’s a significant change. A significant negative change.

      1. Bluto

        That is because saber metrics is always about the odds.

        Sometimes we all like to take a chance, or see someone take chance.

        Even if it isn’t a hundred percent a sure chance.

  11. If outlawing zone defenses in the NBA is good for pro basketball, would outlawing shifts in the MLB be similarly good for baseball?
    .
    The only shift change I am okay with would be to keep infielders in the infield and thus eliminate the 4th outfielder.

  12. One more thing – about the “salary dump” question. When I first read about the “Farmer Trade”, my initial response is that it was just the 1st of what will be several interlocking transactions that will remake the Dodgers’ roster. Then I started thinking about it. What if:
    1 – The Dodgers don’t decide to spend “stupid money” on Bryce Harper?
    2 – The Dodgers can’t pry Kluber loose from the Indians, Realmuto loose from the Marlins, or Castellanos from the Tigers?
    3 – The Dodgers agree with Mark that it’s a “young man’s game” and don’t sign the like of LeMahieu or Pollock?
    4 – The Dodgers sign some broken down backup catcher and an unsuccessful starter or 2 (to turn them into relievers)and that’s the sum total of their moves in the aftermath of the Farmer Trade?

    I quote Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA (no Friedman hater) the other day – here is his take on the issue:
    “Even in taking on Bailey’s $28 million in guaranteed money, the Dodgers from a cash standpoint saved about $7 million in this trade. From a competitive balance tax standpoint, the Dodgers’ 2019 payroll decreased by roughly $16 million.

    The threshold for the competitive balance tax in 2019 is $206 million. The Dodgers, should their remaining arbitration-eligible players get paid their projections, will be at roughly $185 million or so after this deal, leaving them room to maneuver.

    In reality they have as much room as they choose, with any amount over the threshold taxed at a 20-percent rate. That rate reset after the Dodgers paid a total of $150 million in competitive balance tax from 2013-17, having the highest payroll in the sport for five years running. But they stayed under the $197 million threshold in 2018 thanks to a different December trade involving Kemp, this one a five-player accounting trick with the Braves that was cash neutral but lopped roughly $24 million off the Dodgers’ CBT number last season.

    This is where we are at now. The Dodgers, with their $8.3 billion (with a B) television contract while playing in the second largest market in the country, are making moves to save money.

    Put another way, a two-time defending National League pennant winner traded three regulars a year away from free agency for a player they released and two prospects. This isn’t the type of moves big market teams make, unless followed up with something else.

    So – if the only moves made after the “Big Dump” are a backup catcher and a failed starting pitcher to convert to a reliever, then what are we to think of that?

    1. Maybe that everyone was trying to rob the Dodgers.

      We have repeatedly been told that they are not going over the Luxury Tax. THAT IS NOT ON FRIEDMAN AT ALL!

      It’s obvious that Friedman wants to make some more moves, but this market is slow to develop.

      Get back to me after the All-Star Break.

      1. So if the Dodgers do essentially nothing other than add a backup catcher, it’s not a “salary dump” if they make a deadline deal?

        1. I don’t think it will drag on that far. They want to win it all.

          I can’t understand why you don’t see that.

          Should they just say “OK Bryce, here’s $400 million. OK, Miami, here’s Bellinger, Verdugo and Smith for Realmuto and OK Cleveland, here’s May, Santana, Ferguson and Lux for Kluber… so should they just get them at all cost RIGHT NOW?

          1. Of course not – you create a straw man.

            What I expected, as I mentioned above, is that the “dump” was the 1st in a series of interlocking transactions – in other words, that they don’t do the “dump” without all of the other moves already lined up.

            You don’t make a trade like that without the next move already in the queue. But it’s starting to look like that’s exactly what they did – and it concerns and frustrates me. So if there are no other moves in the queue and it’s all done on contingency, the dump is all that it is.

            They may have figured that it’s partially addition by subtraction – I get that, but it’s still 3 high quality MLB players for 2 very low level prospects. Like Eric Stephen said, that’s not a move that a large market team with playoff plans makes, unless it’s just the 1st move. It’s what Friedman would have done as the GM of the Tampa Bay Rays though.

        2. Rick, I do not necessarily disagree with you about the trade, except that I do believe there are other changes to come. I have no idea what those changes may be, and they may not come until the trade deadline. The Dodgers should have no problems staying at or near the top of the NL West through the AS break. Only the Rockies seem to be potentially competitive, but their pitching has to come through again. Will it? We know the Dodgers as they are now structured will compete and contend.
          .
          I agree that they are not good enough right now to win the WS or even the NL pennant, but do any of us know what change needs to be made RIGHT NOW to take them over the top. Why not let the season play out with CT3 as the 2B and Muncy as the 1B. CT3 could rebound and Muncy could continue to mash. I like both DJLM and Pollock, but really how much better (if at all) would the Dodgers be with DJLM and Pollock over CT3 and Muncy. But I absolutely agree with you on platoon, especially at 2B. If it is CT3, then leave him there and let him gel with Corey. It may not be Trammel and Whitaker, but I bet it could compete with Russell and Lopes for one season (not longevity). Plus I do not want anything blocking Gavin Lux. I am anxious to see if he could be the 2B of the future, and we should know by 2020.
          .
          Will Barnes be the 2017 version or 2018. There has always been only two catchers that the Dodgers would trade for that would start (JTR and Cervelli). Maybe Friedman can convince the Rays to trade Zunino (doubt it). So any of the broken down catchers that you listed or that have signed are not measurably better than the other. So if it Wieters or Hundley or Maldonado or Mesoraco, what difference does waiting make? One of those 4 will still be available before pitchers and catchers report.
          .
          Will the bullpen be better with Kelly, Ferguson, Stripling, a healthy Cingrani, a more relaxed Alexander, a more experienced Floro, and an apparently new Pedro Baez who seems to have found confidence in a 2nd pitch? We will know before the ASB. And I do not think that they will make the mistake again if they come up short in relief at the break. BTW, the wild card is Jesen Therrien, who could be this year’s Morrow by June.
          .
          I have never believed that the Dodgers would sign Harper, and clearing the salary space does set up for the Dodgers to trade for Kluber, if they can get it match (highly doubtful now). If Miami becomes reasonable with JTR his salary will have zero issues. Right now only the Brewers and Reds are in play for JTR along with LAD. Wait them all out and Miami is going to have to trade JTR for someone or risk losing him next winter with far less leverage. The Brewers do not have the prospects to make a trade for JTR (they are not trading Corbin Burnes or Keston Hiura). The Reds do have the prospects, but have said repeatedly that Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell, Hunter Greene, and Jonathan India are untouchable. But they do have Tucker Barnhart with 3 more years with a favorable financial contract to move to Miami. I think that the Reds could be players for JTR if they are willing to let go of Barnhart, one of their top 4 and another top ten (Mike Siani or Vladimer Gutierrez). That would be tough for the Dodgers to match, but that would not be Friedman’s fault. That would be a Reds overpay which Friedman is not prone to do.
          .
          If Friedman cannot pry Kluber out of Cleveland or JTR out of Miami, or Castellanos out of Detroit, maybe the best thing for them to do is to wait to see where their holes are in July and who might be available at the trade deadline. I am not the biggest fan of deadline trades, but sometimes they do work. They should have plenty of cash to make a big splash at deadline.

    2. Obviously, if nothing else happens it’s a disappointment.
      `
      But does anyone expect nothing else to happen? If so, what is the reasoning behind that expectation?

      1. And does it have to happen this off-season? To me it shouldn’t, but even saying that it will feel disappointing.

  13. While I agree with most of what Mark says, I don’t agree with the following: “The worst case is that Nick puts up a monster season and the Dodgers end up with another draft pick and sign another Free Agent 3B in 2020 (pick one).” If that was the worst case it would be great, but I can envision cases that would be worse! Who is Timmonson that does the posts? Is it the same as Mark Timmons? 🙂

  14. Mark

    The Astros not only changed their philosophy about hitting, they also got rid of every all or nothing hitter in their line up, too.

    Because even the best hitting instructors can’t make another Ted Williams, out of hitters that are not talented enough, and don’t put enough hard work in, to become a complete hitter.

    And it is hard to try to teach hitters, and expect them, to be able to do the things they need to do, over night too.

    It takes work, it takes time, and it takes the right talent or ability, to be able to be taught to be a complete hitter, and that was my point.

    Our hitting instructor does agree with a couple of things in a hitter’s swing, that William has preached, but he is not an all incompassing disciple, of Williams.

    And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that is the truth.

    I have always thought Friedman was not a complete disciple of saber metrics, because Friedman has always emphasized, that he only used sabermetrics as another tool.

    And I thought that was a good thing, because that allows Friedman to see beyond one approach.

    I am glad that Friedman saw that our hitters needed to change their approaches.

    But remember the Astros didn’t just change their hitting philosophy, they also make some changes in their line up, and on their roster.

    1. Among other things, Houston changed their approach.

      They swung more earlier in the count and walked less. They went from 4th in baseball in strikeouts to dead last and they cut down their strikeouts from 1452 to 1087. Their OB% jumped 30 points and their OPS jumped by 90 points. Yes, they got rid of some players who struck out too much, but they mainly changed the philosophy of players already there. George Springer went from 178 strikeouts in 2016 to 111 in 2017. Correa cut his strikeouts by about 40 and several other players did similar things.

      Turner Ward preached working the count. Frequently, the best pitch you will see is the first one. Be ready to hit it and with two strikes, quit swinging from the heels. It’s hard to be working the count and aggressive at the same time. I think it leaves a hitter in a bad position a lot of times.

      I am anxious to see what this change might mean to CT3, Pedersonm, Muncy, Bellinger and others.

      1. The one hitter that seemingly ignored Ward was Seager. He is a notorious 1st ball swinger, and his numbers show that it has been successful for that. I too will be anxious to see if CT3 goes back to hacking at the 1st pitch he sees. How many first pitches did Rickey Henderson jump on? I think even Joc learned that a bit last year. Working the count is fine, but a batter needs to know how to adapt with 2 strikes. Continue to fight off pitcher’s pitches until there is a mistake. But this requires a different approach rather than a HR swing with 2 strikes.
        .
        JT, also an aggressive hitter batted, .405/.436/.838/1.274 on first pitch. On 1-0 he batted .423/.423/.846/.1.269. JT was not going to let a strike go by without jumping on it.
        .
        CT3 also did well when he was aggressive, but too often he let the pitcher dictate and had too many 0-2 and 1-2 counts that detracted from when he was aggressive. Hopefully he gets back to recognizing that first strike and jumping on it.

        1. Mark

          I am not worried about Cody and Muncy.

          Cody is very talented and he has showed he can adjust, and Muncy is a smart hitter, that hits good velocity, well.

          Joc among others in this line up, are all or nothing hitters.

          They hit pitchers mistakes, but they don’t getting many hits when runners are on base, or in scoring position.

          Hence all the players with 20 HRs, but look at the RBI production.

          Their RBI production should be a lot more, with that many HRs.

          Most of those HRs are solo HRs, because even subpar pitchers, pitch tougher, when runners are on base.

          And that is the type of hitters the Astros traded away!

          I have always been an advocate of swinging early in the count, because the first few pitches a hitter usually gets, are the best pitches they get.

          All the best hitters do that.

          And you right, the Astros are told to attack the first few best pitches they see in the strike zone.

          I understand working the count if a pitcher is wild, but why would any hitter, want to get down with two strikes?

          That count usually gives the advantage to the pitcher.

          It is not a rarity in baseball today, to hit 20 HRs.

          Because most of the players are swinging for HRs, most of the time.

          That is not great talent, because pitchers do make mistakes.

          But it is rare to have hitters, that can hit in these situations, in baseball today.

  15. I’m old, and I don’t like the direction baseball is taking.

    When Mr. Manfred or whoever it was, signed the agreement with MGM Entertainment and MLB crawled into bed with gambling, baseball quit being the game I have loved since before I can remember.

    I have always felt like baseball, more than any other U,S, professional sport (with the possible exception of ice hockey) had a sense of integrity. Not necessarily all the players, but the game itself.)

    All alone, this single move has crushed that delusion.

    I learned to deal with it when corporations took over all the prime seating and even nosebleed seat prices went crazy. I could still see some free TV games and listen to Vin.

    However, this agreement with MGM has sucked the last breath out of the game. Rich men own the game, they own the teams, and they only want to maximize profits. Some will benefit from winning, others will benefit most by cashing in their baseball assets. They will each do what gets them the most money, and a relationship with gaming will certainly be profitable.

    In that kind of environment, how can you question players who do the exact same thing? I often wonder why a player would use any agent not named Scott Boris. If it’s okay for the owners to milk every cent they can get, why not the players?

    I think they should, but it’s not something that I enjoy watching.

    Personally, I think AF wants to win championships. I believe he is driven to win. I also believe that he has many constraints on his passion of which I am uninformed. He is employed by an immensely wealthy corporation that is telling him what he can and cannot do.

    The fact that he can apply advanced analytics to a physical game and maximize production is astounding. In my life, there have been a number of changes in the game, but this is the one that has fascinated me the most. I couldn’t wait to see how it played out.

    Unfortunately, baseball’s marriage to gaming has sucked the life out of the game for me. And yes, I do know that people have always bet on baseball, but it was never officially tied to the game itself,

    1. Bum

      That doesn’t prove anything.

      Because you have to know how many opportunities a hitter had, to hit in runs, to know how well they did.

      Joc had 83 opportunities to hit in runners in scoring position, and he only did that 18 times.

      That is a 217/299/349/648.

      19 of Joc’s 25 HRs, were solo HRs.

      His RBI total was only 56.

      Taylor had 127 opportunities to hit in runs, and he did that 31 times.

      244/346/370/648

      And Taylor struck out 47 times in these situations.

      That was our biggest problem last year.

  16. Dodgerrick that was my point. You made this move so I am excited to see the next. But, there is no next one at this point. I thought that there would but not yet. So, I can only assume that Friedman is satisfied with this move on its own. He may make other moves but we didn’t do this so we could do this. It was more like we create space and now I look for an opportunity. I personally think we will go into the season with Barnes and Maldonado or someone like him. Maybe gale who knows. We add seager and Verdugo to the lineup plus Kelley as a reliever, we can mix and match at second and the outfield with kike, Taylor, and muncy. We have better sp with buehler a full year, ryu healthy, and urias close. Then, hold your breath that seager will be ready. So, you could say Verdugo is cheaper and has upside over an erratic puig. You could make a case that this team will start the season and be better. So I think he will wait the market out and maybe not make a deal of any significance and have money at the deadline. MJ good point the Astros didn’t just change philosophy but also players.

  17. I DONT HATE FRIEDMAN AT ALL. HE HAD DONE VERY GOOD JOB. JUST A DONT “LOVE HIM BLINDLY” SO I CAN SEE HIS MISTAKES. I DONT LIKE his 100% sabermetric APPROACH. AND THE CONSTRUCTION ON A VERY BORIED TEAM IN 2017′ AND TO KEEP A NO MANAGER LIKE ROBERTS…HE DID NOT LEARND FROM 2017 WORLD SERIE MISTAKES AND DID THE SAME IN 2018

  18. Mark Timmonson article “Why Do So Many Dodger Fans Hate Andrew Friedman?” and most of the replies were excellent. Celebrated my 80th Birthday two days ago and have been a Bum Fan since ’42 or ’46, I like to make a couple comments regarding some of the posts. Let me begin by stating that I like the increased analytical use and I am a fan of Bill James and his writing. I like the signing of the hitting coaches Van Scoyoc and Brown. I also read Passan’s “THE ARM”. The only problem with The ARM is I see it leading to bionic arms and not just repaired arms. The shift, DH and electronic calling of balls and strikes are minor compared to a pitcher who can toss at 110 mph. The current WS Winning Drought is far less than the Brooklyn days of winning the NL and losing to the Yanks.
    Roberts is still learning to be a good manager of the game; he seems to be a good manager of players. In Friedman I trust … hope that trust is rewarded!!! I would not mind just some minor signing this winter and get Trout next year. This team is the beginning of another Dodger Dynasty like the Pee Wee -Jackie one and like the Garvey one … may we be the boys of summer again!
    Now to some of my favorite comments, as I remember them, in the replies.
    1. Without the steroids, this is a young man’s game! Smart GMs have figured this out and we now see how the game has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
    2. I am afraid of Pollack and DJLM because of age and their history of injuries.
    3. Turner Ward preached working the count. Frequently, the best pitch you will see is the first one. Be ready to hit it and with two strikes, quit swinging from the heels. Seager…He is a notorious 1st ball swinger. (However, JT is great at working the count once he has two strikes.)
    4. Dodgerrick comments and his 13 points concerning the way the game has changed are true but that is what is happening. The problem is that baseball is changing and becoming more like basketball when only the last five minutes count. I love 1-0 and 4-3 games, rally caps and a close play at home plate. I disagree with only one of Dodgerrick’s points. I think a walk is just as important as a hit, especially if the runner is fast and plays with the pitcher’s concentration.
    Anyway, a great post with some of the best replies ever! Thanks!

    1. Doug

      Happy belated birthday!

      How many walks get base runners in from second or third?

      And walks are always depended on a pitcher.

  19. How about middle relief? Andrew inheirited middle relief issues, ando has never solved that. He uses the flawed logic that stats are the answer and if you fail with stats, it means you don’the have enough stats.

    1. 2018 Stats

      Dodgers were 2nd in MLB in ERA to Houston 3.11 – 3.38. Starters were second to Houston 3.19 to 3.16. Their relievers were 8th while the Astros were 1st. BTW, the World Series Winners, the Red Sox were 9th, FYI.

      2017 Stats

      Dodgers were 2nd in MLB in ERA to Cleveland. Dodgers starters were first, Houston was 6th. 3.39 to 4.03. Their relievers were 4th while the Astros were 17th.

      Let me paraphrase the rest: Dodgers Relievers were 1st in baseball in 2016, but were 18th in Friedman’s first year. So, the numbers don’t support your argument.

  20. When Friedman was hired by the Dodgers in 2014, if possible any of the other 29 baseball teams would have hired him. He was that highly thought of. Since he has been with the Dodgers, he has done nothing to tarnish that reputation. Has he been perfect, no he hasn’t. Has he been good, yes he has. If Friedman was to be replaced, who do you replace him with?? Ned Coletti? No thank you. He (and his front office) have not been afraid to make trades to better the team in season and during the office season. Not all have turned out well, but most have accomplished their purpose. I find that most of the displeasure with Friedman stems from the fact that those in the blogesphere are certain that Friedman “could have made nay number of trades, but chose not to.” How and where that information was obtained remains a mystery to me. I would have loved to have Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Cole, Stanton or others. Did the Dodgers try to obtain them? Don’t know. Did the trading team prize the prospects offered by other teams more? Don’t know. Do I believe everything I read on MLB Rumors or like sites? No I don’t. Was the Farmer trade a salary dump? Don’t think so, but it certainly does provide salary relief and flexibility. I think that’s a good thing. Will other moves be made before spring training starts? I hope so. Will I be surprised by the moves to be made? Probably. I didn’t see the Farmer trade coming. I didn’t see either prior Kemp trade coming. The trade by which we obtained Alex Wood, et al. was surprising and incredibly innovative. I was excited when they traded for A. Chapman, but I understood when they backed out of the trade.
    .
    Do I think our team as presently constructed is capable of winning the World Series? Probably not, but it could happen if everything went right.
    .
    Mark, I would also add a second question to yours, “Why do so many Dodger fans hate Dave Roberts?” After Torre and Mattingly, I’m ecstatic to have him in our dugout. I would also ask, “who would you rather have?” Once again, he’s not perfect, but he is pretty darn good.

    1. 2D2,

      I must admit that I got frustrated with Doc last season and wanted him fired, but I came back to my senses. In 2017, I said he might go down in history as the best Dodger manager ever. I am back on that train.

      Dave Roberts has a .589 Winning %, which is better than Walter Alston, Don Mattingly, Bill Russell, Glenn Hoffman, Joe Torre, Jim Tracy, Tommy Lasorda and Grady Little. In fact, he has the best winning percentage of any Dodger manager in the modern era.

      The haters say that Friedman doesn’t put a good team on the field and Roberts can’t manage. Yet, Doc has the best winning percentage of any Dodger manager.

      1. Mark:

        Sounds like the Atlanta Braves under Kasten.

        Roberts has a long way to go before he is the best Dodger manager ever. I could care less about winning percentage, how about some WS championships!

  21. FLASH:

    There has NEVER been a better time to be a Dodger fan.

    I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas with the family and will be out until January 8th. I may or may not comment. I don’t know if I will have wi-fi. They say yes, but you never know.

    AC – DC will take good care of you.

    Happy New Year to Everyone.

    1. Mark

      Enjoy your cruise with your family.

      You deserve this break for all that hard work you did, to get to this point!

      1. Bum

        Here is another example from our outfield last year.

        Kemp had 119 opportunities, and he was successful 42 times.

        He hit in 64 runs in these opportunities.

        Puig had 94 opportunities, and he was successful 23 times, and he hit in 39 runs with these opportunities.

        Joc hit in 27 runs, in 83 opportunities.

        Kemp’s OPS is lower, but I don’t know why, when he produced more then most in this outfield, when he was given the chance.

        That is part of the reason, I don’t think an OPS is the ultimate when it really comes to production.

          1. Mark

            I hope so too!

            But you were right about Kemp, he produced 35 percent of the time.

            Everyone else in the outfield, from 25 to 20 percent.

Comments are closed.