The Los Angeles Dodgers have been aggressive at the trade deadline in each of the first four seasons under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Now in his fifth year at the helm, that doesn’t figure to be any different come 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
Among his most notable deals, Friedman has traded for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick, Chase Utley, Yu Darvish and Manny Machado. Each was with an eye on putting the Dodgers in the best possible position to end their World Series drought.
As that has now stretched another year, Friedman faces external pressure to make yet another impact trade at the deadline. By all accounts, the Dodgers are squarely focused on upgrading their bullpen.
According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, that’s come with a perception Friedman may be willing to extend himself more than he has in years past:
The sense is that Friedman will not mortgage the future, but would more willingly overpay to a degree than in recent years to get what the Dodgers need, which is bullpen depth to protect closer Kenley Jansen.
Although that may be how some are interpreting matters, Friedman has routinely emphasized and carried out the practice of not making trades based on emotion or knee-jerk reactions.
He recently voiced hope fans are understanding of the Dodgers maintaining a balance of aggressiveness without completely mortgaging the organization’s future in pursuit of a World Series ring. The approach has earned Friedman the reputation of being unwilling to part with any notable prospects.
That’s despite the Dodgers trading Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, Willie Calhoun, Jose De Leon and Yusniel Diaz, among other prospects who were viewed as having positive trajectories.
With the Dodgers maintaining a farm system that is rich in talent, it affords Friedman added flexibility. A prime example has been the success of Will Smith, which in some sense has made Keibert Ruiz expendable as a big trade chip.
The Dodgers are also flush with pitching prospects, which could lead to the likes of Tony Gonsolin, Dennis Santana or Mitchell White getting traded as well.