Andrew Friedman: Dodgers Were Reluctant ‘To Do Something Just To Do Something’ At MLB Trade Deadline
Andrew Friedman, 2020 Spring Training
Keith Birmingham/Southern California News Group

The MLB Trade Deadline featured more activity than initially expected as several notable players were on the move. The San Diego Padres arguably made the biggest splash by acquiring Mike Clevinger from the Cleveland Indians, and they also added Mitch Moreland, Austin Nola and Jason Castro in separate trades.

Already boasting one of the deepest rosters in the league, the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t have many needs and took a more opportunistic approach. They were connected to the likes of Clevinger, Lance Lynn and Josh Hader, but ultimately didn’t pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade.

“It’s funny. Three weeks ago, I kind of anticipated this to be a very type of deadline. It definitely didn’t play out all that differently in terms of conversations,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.

“From our standpoint — we talked about this before the deadline — we feel really good about the team that we have, and also the depth behind it. Our mindset was not to just do something to do something, and that we have guys on our 28-man roster who are deserving of playing time. Didn’t want to block that unless it was someone really impactful.

“So we had some of those conversations; nothing that ultimately got all that close. But again, we felt like we were operating from a position of strength in that we’ve been fortunate from a health standpoint, that we feel really good not just about our starting group but our entire roster and even some depth that right now is at USC.”

With MLB opting for an expanded postseason this year, teams appeared more aggressive with upgrading their roster. “I don’t know, because virtually all the activity were things we were not involved in,” Friedman said when asked if the trade deadline was more of a buyer’s market than anticipated.

“So I’m not sure I fully wrapped my arms around all of it. I think so much of it gets to the quality that is traded and what the demand is. I almost have to go deal by deal, but there were a lot of teams that were really engaged.

“I think a number of teams were looking to upgrade certain areas, and also a number of teams who weren’t that far out of playoff position who were willing to move guys. So I think that helped provide for more activity.”

While a flurry of trades came to fruition prior to the deadline, one can make a case that Clevinger was the only elite player to change teams. Lynn and Hader ultimately stayed put with the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively, while the Indians held on to Francisco Lindor.

“It’s a hard thing to gauge,” Friedman said of teams being reluctant to part with elite talent for anything less than a godfather offer. “From our standpoint, there were a few guys that we felt like had a chance to really impact us.

“Even with that said, there would have been friction on our end we would’ve had to figure out. We talked about this last year, anytime you’re focused on a very small number of players, it obviously decreases the likelihood quite a bit.

“As far as the willingness of teams, I think throughout the last couple of weeks we’ve seen teams kind of ebb and flow with that. So the question remained what would it look like coming into this last weekend. I think we all kind of got a resolution on that based on the activity.”

Dodgers trade Ross Stripling to Blue Jays

While it originally appeared the Dodgers did not make any moves on Monday, the club announced one hour past the 1:00 p.m. PT deadline that Ross Stripling was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later — one of which is prospect Kendall Williams.

Stripling struggled of late and went going 3-1 with a 5.61 ERA, 7.23 FIP and 1.46 WHIP over 33.2 innings of work. He particularly was plagued by the long ball, allowing a Major League-high 12 home runs in seven starts.

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