After winning more than 100 games in the regular season for the second straight year and suffering a shocking upset in the Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be the next big free agent this winter. The Dodgers have been tight-lipped about their top free agent target, Shohei Ohtani, 29, but have signaled an aggressive approach to free agency.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman held his season-ending press conference on Nov. 18 (ET). “Our goal is to win 11 games in October, but we didn’t win a game,” Friedman said, according to local media outlets such as The Athletic and the LA Times. So we have to figure out what we can do differently and how to do it,” Friedman said.
He didn’t place blame on the coaching staff, including head coach Dave Roberts. “One thing I can say for sure is that it wasn’t for lack of trying,” Friedman said. The coaching staff has done a tremendous job this year,” Friedman said. “If it’s the fault of one person or a few people, we’ve tried to make changes, but it’s an organizational failure. It’s all of our responsibility.”
When it comes to the postseason, things are strangely uneven. Some have argued that the expansion of the postseason in the last two years, which has led to longer wild cards and a five-day break before the Division Series, has been a detriment, but Friedman says, “I don’t want to use the system as an excuse. The goal is to win the district next year and then have five days off again.”
“For a team this talented to not have a lead for 27 innings is something we need to figure out. I don’t know the answer, and we have to figure out what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” “Obviously, the starting pitching didn’t live up to expectations. The bullpen is great, but if the starters don’t hold up, it’s hard to win games. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that front and center,” he said, hinting at the signing of a quality free agent starting pitcher.
National League Cy Young Award favorite Blake Snell (San Diego Padres), big-game pitcher Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies), and top Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes) are among the biggest names in pitching. Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins), Marcus Stroman (Chicago Cubs), and Jordan Montgomery (Texas Rangers) are other notable free agent starts.
There was also a question about the biggest free agent, Ohtani. He won’t be able to pitch next year due to elbow surgery, so he can’t be a two-hitter, but he’s valuable as a designated hitter as he’s the league leader in home runs (44). The Dodgers are considered a likely destination, but when asked about Ohtani, Friedman responded with “Who?” and said, “I can’t talk about free agency yet.” It’s postseason time, so he can’t comment on specific free agents.
But Friedman made it clear that he’s committed to investing in free agency: “I’m very angry and disappointed with the last two offseasons. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen next year. I don’t know exactly what that means yet, but I’m confident that when we start spring training in Arizona next February, we will be a team with a very strong desire to win 메이저놀이터.”
The Dodgers had a very quiet free agent market last winter. The only outside free agent signings were pitcher Noah Syndergaard (one year, $13 million) and designated hitter J.D. Martinez (one year, $10 million). Some interpreted the move as a way to clear the team’s payroll for the upcoming winter signing of Ohtani. “We’re in a good position,” Friedman said, expressing confidence in free agency.