Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Downplays Notion Of Adding Starting Pitcher This Offseason
Andrew Friedman, Dodgers
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a quiet start to the offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers in terms of player transactions, but the club has been linked to some high-profile names in the early going.

The Dodgers were one of seven finalists for Shohei Ohtani’s services, though the Japanese star ultimately decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Furthermore, the club was involved in trade talks for Giancarlo Stanton before the slugger eventually approved a deal to the New York Yankees.

Los Angeles entered the Winter Meetings with most of its World Series core intact for the 2018 season, so there aren’t as many pressing roster needs this time around, as opposed to the previous offseason, which saw the Dodgers dole out nearly $200 million to retain the likes of Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill.

In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet LA, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman specifically downplayed the notion of adding a starting pitcher this offseason, citing high expectations for young-and-upcoming arms that are already in the organization:

“That’s just being more opportunistic. At some point, we really want to create an opportunity to work in some of our really young, talented, high-upside guys and let them kind of have a little bit of a runway to get acclimated so they can start to establish themselves. We’re really mindful of not just doing something to block a spot. So, if we line up on some guy who slots in at the top of our rotation, or near the top of our rotation, obviously it’s something you have to really consider.”

Even without making a move, the Dodgers arguably boast the Majors’ best starting pitching depth, headlined by Hill, Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. Rounding out the rotation include the likes of Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Brock Stewart, Walker Buehler, and potentially Julio Urias and Scott Kazmir at some point, as they recover from injuries.

Midseason acquisition Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta highlight a relatively weak free-agent market for starting pitchers. Both right-handers figure to command hefty contracts, which could price the Dodgers out of consideration. Friedman admitted that the club must be creative this offseason in an effort to stay under the luxury tax threshold.

Some viable trade candidates that could potentially enter the fold include the Tampa Bay Rays’ Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gerrit Cole and the Detroit Tigers’ Michael Fulmer. While the Dodgers haven’t been connected to any thus far, this could be the route the club takes should it choose to acquire a starting pitcher.