Free agency this past offseason undeniably was headlined by Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, who didn’t lack for suitors and in some cases were drawing reported interest from the same team.
The Los Angeles Dodgers fell into that bucket, though they most often were linked to Cole and Rendon. The scenario was similar to prior years — the Dodgers had the flexibility and financial prowess to extend a significant contract offer — but there were questions over whether or not they would do so.
Once the dust settled, every indication was the Dodgers focused on Cole. They reportedly offered him an eight-year, $300 million contract, but the right-hander instead joined the New York Yankees on a record deal.
Meanwhile, Strasburg fulfilled a long-held belief he would re-sign with the Washington Nationals, and Rendon didn’t have interest in signing with the Dodgers. His reasoning included being adverse to the now-infamous “Hollywood Lifestyle” reference.
During an appearance on “The Big Swing Podcast,” co-hosted by Ross Stripling and Cooper Surles, Rendon explained the comment and confirmed the Dodgers never submitted a contract offer during free agency:
“Now it’s going to be another city that hates me or something. Now every time we play the Dodgers, they’re just going to boo the heck out of me or drive down to Anaheim. I wasn’t surprised by [the reaction].
“I remember when they asked me the question. I’m sitting there at the press conference like, ‘All right, I’m not going to lie to these people because I’m probably the most blunt person you’ll ever meet. Almost too blunt at times, but at the same time I don’t want to be a jerk about it. I just said, ‘L.A. Los Angeles, Los Angeles, in theory there’s the Los Angeles Angels and there’s the Los Angeles Dodgers.’ That’s just how it came out. To my defense, I couldn’t sign with a team that didn’t send over an offer.”
The Dodgers certainly are one of baseball’s marquee franchises and play under a spotlight that only the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Yankees can relate to. However, the team very much has a workmanlike approach and focus.
Coincidentally, the night of Rendon’s comments, Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney distributed Christmas presents to underserved children at The Dream Center on behalf of their Justin Turner Foundation.
— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) December 15, 2019
Furthermore, multiple players, including team leader Clayton Kershaw are active in the local community and hardly fit the bill of living any sort of glamorous lifestyle one might associate with Hollywood, which in general does not reflect Los Angeles as a whole.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our live shows, and more!