Depth and rebuilding the farm system. It’s what the Los Angeles Dodgers have placed an emphasis on under the Guggenheim ownership group, and the vision team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is tasked with carrying forward.
It’s also placed Friedman and the front office under fire as the Dodgers have passed on acquiring top-flight Major-League talent, players on expiring contracts or otherwise. The ballyhooed depth has worked in the Dodgers’ favor this season, with the club remaining afloat despite myriad injuries.
Friedman nonetheless isn’t the type to stand pat, and already declared the club would target ‘elite-level players’ at the trade deadline. “We started conversations with other teams after the draft. We have a number of target guys that we’re interested in,” he said over the weekend.
“We’re having a lot of different conversations on a lot of different fronts.” Trade talks across the league figure to pick up as the non-waiver deadline draws closer and the outlook for clubs becomes more clear.
As for the depth the Dodgers’ have assembled throughout the organization, Friedman believes it will lend to the club having a presence in potential trades. “I think the strength and depth of our system puts us in a really good position that deals won’t happen without us being involved in the conversation,” he said.
Friedman’s first move of note this season was acquiring Bud Norris, Cuban outfielder Dian Toscano, a player to be named and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves. Norris filled an immediate need in the Dodgers’ rotation with Clayton Kershaw landing on the disabled list.
Also of significance, Zach Lee was traded to the Seattle Mariners for versatile infielder Chris Taylor, who has already appeared in eight games with the Dodgers.
Friedman has yet to complete a midseason blockbuster trade during his tenure in Los Angeles. Many are hopeful, if not expectant, for that to change this year.