Dave Roberts: Dodgers ‘More Aggressive’ In 2019 MLB Free Agency Than Years Past
Los Angeles Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten, manager Dave Roberts and owner Mark Walter watch batting practice at Dodger Stadium
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Whether in free agency or the trade market, the Los Angeles Dodgers regularly are connected in some fashion to top players when they become available. That’s held particularly true this winter, as the Dodgers have reportedly been interested in Gerrit Cole, Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.

“We’re being more aggressive than I can recall,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the club’s approach in free agency this offseason.

“I just think that the conversations that we’ve had, and it’s clear, when you’re talking about the players that are available, it’s pretty clear how excited and eager our organization is about engaging, which we haven’t been as much in past with other free agents.”

Roberts’ comments came prior to Cole agreeing to a jarring contract with the New York Yankees that shattered records Stephen Strasburg held for a mere 24 hours after agreeing to his deal with the Washington Nationals.

And though Roberts noted the Dodgers’ increased aggression, it came with a caveat. “I do think that Andrew, the front office, with Stan and Mark, there’s still a process to be responsible to win still right now but also to not compromise too much,” he added.

“I wouldn’t say at the fore-, forefront, but it’s somewhere in the front of our minds, but we’re being aggressive.”

Even with Cole and Strasburg no longer available, the Dodgers have an opportunity to make a sizable splash if they are to sign Rendon. It would still require a substantial financial commitment, which Dodgers owner Mark Walter and president and CEO Stan Kasten are supportive of.

“He’s at the center of it,” answered Roberts when asked about Walter’s involvement. “So Andrew, Stan have daily conversations. So Mark, obviously, is very in tune with what’s happening on a minute to minute basis.”

In addition to remaining involved with Rendon, the Dodgers are said to have shifted their focus to Madison Bumgarner as the search for a starting pitcher continues. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously estimated the club had 12 elite players on its radar.

But whether Rendon, Bumgarner, another free agent, or no activity, Roberts is confident in the team. “I think that we’re being as aggressive as we feel we should be on each player,” he said.

“So, again, I love our club, and those guys certainly move the needle, but as it stands right now, I’m very confident in our club going forward this year.”

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