Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Focused On Right-Handed Bat, Bullpen

Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is never one to get complacent when it comes to roster construction and organizational depth, and that’s continued to ring true even with the team coming off their first World Series win since 1988.

The Dodgers have yet to act on any of their marquee free agents — a group that notably includes Pedro Baez, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen and Justin Turner — but a trade was completed for Corey Knebel.

Furthermore, L.A. signed Brandon Morrow, Jimmy Nelson and Brock Stewart to Minor League contracts. Morrow and Stewart are back with the Dodgers after being with other teams, and Nelson returned after a year lost to back surgery.

During an interview with Alanna Rizzo on SportsNet LA, Friedman highlighted a right-handed position player and the bullpen as areas the Dodgers are looking to address this offseason:

“I think from our standpoint we feel really good about the depth and talent that we have in place. But I think there are a couple of areas that are kind of front of mind for us that we’re focusing on. One is adding a right-handed bat. With our positional versatility, it doesn’t have to be at third base. Obviously we’ve been very vocal about JT and how much he’s meant to this organization. He’s earned this right to go out into free agency and get a feel for the market and it’s incumbent upon us to prepare for if him and Kourtney find an opportunity they fall in love with for whatever reason.

“So a right-handed bat is something that is front of mind, as well as bullpen. I think adding another reliever we feel really good about going into the season is important. And then continuing to look for upside plays and just trying to put together the best bullpen we can. We talk about this every year — it’s always front of mind. Even as we get through Spring Training, we’re never at a point where we feel totally confident and comfortable (with the bullpen). It’s such an important part of the quality of life of a season, but obviously the most difficult thing to kind of predict year to year.”

The Dodgers conceivably could re-sign Turner and pursue another right-handed bat in free agency or the trade market. Most notably they have been linked to a potential Nolan Arenado trade, though the Colorado Rockies reportedly prefer to deal with the New York Mets.

On the bullpen front, the Dodgers reportedly have expressed some interest in elite closer Liam Hendriks and could also look to re-sign Baez or Treinen.

Knebel excited, relieved to be with Dodgers

After voicing his excitement over joining the World Series champions, Knebel additionally said he was looking forward to no longer having to pitch against the vaunted Dodgers lineup.

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