When the Guggenheim group purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt, team president and CEO Stan Kasten placed an emphasis on replenishing a depleted farm system.
As such, then-general manager Ned Colletti operated under the direction to retain the organization’s top prospects. That of course made trading for elite players all the more difficult as clubs were turned away when they asked for the likes of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager or Julio Urias.
Hired in October 2014, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has worked under the same initiative, been aggressive in acquiring draft picks via trade, and in signing international prospects.
Los Angeles was rewarded for their vision last season when Pederson jumped out to a strong first half, and Seager impressed during September in what was his first experience at the Major League level.
Although the Dodgers resisted trading any of their prospects at the deadline last season for the likes of a Cole Hamels or David Price, it shouldn’t be taken as an indication of how the organization will always operate.
In a question-and-answer session with Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Friedman explained the club is comfortable with their group of prospects to pull off a significant trade, or rely on them for roster depth:
Given how pressing the need was last year, and given there will always be a steep acquisition cost to get a player of that caliber, and given that such a trade never guarantees anything, why would you ever make one of those moves when you wouldn’t make it last year?
Any player that we feel like fits us, whether in the free-agent market or trade front, we exhaust that possibility thoroughly and try to figure out ways to line up and get to a deal. Part of it is having the depth in your farm system to withstand a trade of that nature. We feel like we’re finally getting to the point where we have the depth in prospects, either to help us in the form of trade currency or to continue to supplement our major league team.
Secondly, the easy decision would be just to say yes to something that helps you in the near term, but we’re trying as hard as we can to have the discipline to be as good as we can be in the current year and to maintain it as far as we can see out.
Baseball America named the Dodgers farm system as the best in baseball, while ESPN ranked it behind only the Atlanta Braves.