Although the narrative that has encompassed Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is one that paints him as unwilling to be aggressive in pursuit of a World Series, reality doesn’t completely support that.
Yes, Friedman has been hesitant to extend long-term contract offers to free agents, but he’s regularly moved ahead with notable trades. In 2016 he acquired Rich Hill and Josh Reddick at the deadline, followed that in 2017 by acquiring Yu Darvish, and last year traded for Manny Machado.
With the Dodgers coming off a disappointing postseason showing — the elimination in the National League Division Series marked their earliest exit since 2015 — Friedman explained he felt the team was in strong position to improve.
He didn’t rule out any potential signings or trades, but cautioned there wasn’t added pressure for activity in the wake of being eliminated in the NLDS. Friedman later reiterated the Dodgers would be aggressive but not reckless.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, that has entailed a willingness to explore trade offers for some of their notable players:
The #Dodgers quietly are being aggressive this winter. They're in talks with free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, and starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Kevin Gausman. Several rivals say LA also is willing to listen to trade offers on several of their high-priced players
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 3, 2019
Proverbial ‘high-priced players’ projected to be on the Dodgers’ roster next season include Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Pollock and Justin Turner. Meanwhile, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager are among those due for a raise via the salary arbitration process.
Of that group, it’s difficult to envision the Dodgers trading Jansen, Kershaw, Pollock and Turner. Jansen is coming off a down season and opted into the remaining two years and $38 million, making him an unlikely trade target.
Kershaw is in that boat for similar reasons and so too is Pollock. Turner is entering the final year of his deal but has been a cornerstone in the lineup and one of the Dodgers’ few right-handed batters.
Pederson could be a trade chip as he is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season and the Dodgers have depth in the outfield. Seager’s name has already surfaced in trade speculation amid the Dodgers’ reported interest in Francisco Lindor.
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