When Andrew Friedman ultimately decided to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in October 2014 as president of baseball operations, he understood the difficult task that was ahead of him.
Friedman’s first significant move with the Dodgers was hiring Farhan Zaidi as general manager. The duo then shook up the Dodgers’ roster that offseason, completing separate trades shipped out Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp, among others.
Under Friedman, the Dodgers have continued to place further emphasis on replenishing and developing their crop of prospects. The Dodgers farm system is ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, led by Julio Urias and a slew of young pitchers.
The philosophy is one Friedman carried out as general manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, with the expansion franchise reaching previously unreached success during his tenure.
Friedman is with the Dodgers on their five-game road trip that began Tuesday against the Rays. Addressing the media from his old stomping grounds, Friedman said he’s still working to establish the strong relationships that were forged within the Rays organization, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“We had a decent amount of turnover, personnel and staff-wise. You’re creating systems and processes. It takes time to fully integrate an organization where we’re philosophically aligned. Now we’re at that point where over the last year, after a lot of change. Now it’s about forging relationships and creating something special within the framework of our group.”
In such a popular market as Southern California, the learning curve with running a franchise is significantly based on success. Friedman assembled a roster that managed to win a third consecutive National League West divisional title for the first time in franchise history.
However, the Dodgers’ struggles in the postseason continued as they were eliminated in the NL Division Series by the New York Mets. It led to a mutual parting with Don Mattingly and the hiring of Dave Roberts as manager, which is the most notable change under Friedman.
Other noteworthy changes on Friedman’s watch have come in the scouting department. In August 2015, vice president of international scouting Bob Engle was released. Also, the scouting coordinators for Latin America and the Dominican Republic are no longer with the club.
Friedman explained these changes in the scouting department were based solely on the concept of moving in a new direction. Minor League coaching staffs were also overhauled.
Now in his second season with the Dodgers, Friedman has laid the foundation for his vision and can focus on the next steps in helping end the World Series drought.