When Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt, they went multiple seasons without the expected shuffling in the front office or at manager. However, there was a significant change after being eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers created the position of president of baseball operations and hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays. Friedman fought off speculation manager Don Mattingly would be replaced, though a change ultimately came after the 2015 season.
Both before and since his handpicked manager, Dave Roberts, Friedman has kept the Dodgers atop the NL West and guided them to sustained success. While multiple players are due to reach free agency this winter, Friedman’s contract is also set to expire.
Without delving into specifics about potential negotiations, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten assured Friedman will remain with the franchise beyond the 2019 season, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Team president and CEO Stan Kasten referred to Friedman’s contract as “a private matter” and steadfastly refused to discuss any aspect of it, citing a long-standing “policy” not to discuss such matters.
When asked directly if he expects Friedman to return in his current position with the Dodgers in 2020, however, Kasten did offer a direct answer.
“I am completely certain of that. Yes,” he said.
The Dodgers aren’t far removed from going through a similar scenario with Roberts. Contractually speaking, he was a lame-duck manager last season, which was the final guaranteed year of his contract.
Though, Roberts and the Dodgers regularly downplayed the notion there would was any concern and said a new contract would eventually be agreed upon. That came last December when Roberts was signed to a four-year contract extension.
It’s reasonable to expect Friedman will receive a similar deal. Under his direction the Dodgers have won five NL West titles to extend their current streak to seven in a row, claimed back-to-back pennants and are on the verge of reaching 100 wins for a second time in the past three years.
Friedman additionally has replenished the Dodgers’ farm system both through the annual draft and international signing periods.
All that has continued to evade the accomplished executive — and in turn the Dodgers — is a World Series title. Ending the 31-year drought would be another feather in Friedman’s cap and serve as another bargaining chip.