Despite his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers suggesting otherwise, Andrew Friedman has developed a reputation as an executive who is unwilling to trade prospects in effort to improve the team for the immediate.
In reality, Friedman has only taken that stance with a select group of prospects. He’s refused to trade the likes of Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo and Gavin Lux, and reaped the benefits.
“It’s incredibly difficult,” Friedman said on the main stage during Dodgers FanFest. “All of us want the Dodgers to win a World Series and we really are doing everything we can to do that.
“But what we also are trying to do is not trade Walker Buehler for a short-term fix a couple years ago, Cody Bellinger. There’s a couple guys we’ve kind of set aside and made it really, really difficult for us to trade.”
Last season and now this winter, every indication has been the Dodgers are unwilling to trade Lux and Dustin May. Lux in particular has been coveted in reported talks with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians.
“A lot of that is a bet on the talent and person,” Friedman explained of his stance. “The guys we’ve done that with have been a huge part of our success to this point and will be a huge part of our future success. So it’s tough (to trade them).
“Last year, going through that with Realmuto and looking at the catcher spot, he was someone who fit us extremely well. The immediate knee-jerk is let’s just do it and we’ll figure it out. I’m glad that we ultimately didn’t.”
Friedman’s philosophy has earned him growing scrutiny as the Dodgers have assembled successful regular-season teams but failed to end the franchise’s championship drought. Of course, it’s since been determined the Houston Astros cheated in the 2017 World Series, and the Red Sox may have done so the following year.
In 2019, L.A. posted a franchise-best 106 wins, only to be eliminated by the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series. With that has come mounting pressure for the Dodgers to make splash.
“It’s a really tough balance to strike,” Friedman acknowledged. “I know people don’t want to hear about 2021 and 2022, but when we get to 2021 and 2022, we are going to want to talk about it.”
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