I have never liked Andrew Friedman and I have been pretty vocal about that on this blog. I don’t like the way he does business or the way he runs the Dodgers. It’s been nearly five years and he has yet to bring in a top level free agent, nor does he acquire elite talent. He’s terrible at recruiting players. He’s not only cheap and small market minded, but when he does actually spend money on players it’s usually on injury riddled or mediocre players. It’s been five years and things aren’t changing.
We just learned that the Toronto Blue Jays signed Hyun-jin Ryu to a 4-year 80 million dollar contract. Ryu was the Dodger’s best pitcher in 2019. Not only did he finish second in the National League Cy Young voting but he won the National League ERA title. The Dodgers reportedly never made him an offer.
I don’t understand it. Once again for the third consecutive offseason (or has it been four?) Friedman has done virtually nothing. He’s made no major league signings this winter (save for another injured reliever Blake Treinen) and he hasn’t made any of the trades that the Dodgers have been rumored to be discussing. The Dodgers are going to be returning the same roster in 2020 that was bounced out of the playoffs in the NLDS.
Breaking: Ryu to Jays. 80M, 4 years.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 23, 2019
The pitching staff, the area of the club that needed to be improved the most now will be without their best starter. The bullpen is the same, (with the addition of Treinen) and the rotation equally forgotten about by Friedman will now arguably be worse.
The rotation depth is non-existent. With Ryu gone, the rotation will consist of Walker Buehler (now the defacto ace) Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias (if the Dodgers actually let him start) and possibly Dustin May. If anyone gets injured the only other starters are Ross Stripling and Tony Gonsolin. The bullpen will be the same with the incompetent and walking wounded all returning for another go round. Inconsistent relievers like Scott Alexander, Joe Kelly, and Dylan Floro will be back again.
This winter was one of the worst that I can remember. After the Dodger’s stunning display of incompetence in the NLDS this fall, everyone agreed that the Dodgers needed a jolt. The Dodgers needed to improve the roster by bringing in some top level talent from outside the organization. The pitching staff was the area that needed the most help, especially the bullpen. Once again the Dodgers were “rumored” to be in on every single top level free agent, and a couple of other stars via trade discussions. The Dodgers needed to bring in a super star or two. They at least needed to do something. Everyone has agreed, even the most ardent Friedman supporters.
What the Dodgers shouldn’t do is nothing. The Dodgers must have activity this winter, not inactivity. As usual Friedman has done nothing. He signed nobody, traded for nobody and now refused to retain the Dodger’s best starter. Are Urias and May suitable to replace Ryu’s production? There is little doubt that they are good young pitchers with a lot of potential, but will they be able to lead the staff?
The Dodgers will be heavily counting on youth in 2020. I’m happy that the Dodgers are giving the young players a chance, but not improving the bullpen or retaining your best starter is stupid. There is no excuse for this. Reports have indicated that the Dodgers earned over 549 million dollars in revenue in 2018. I don’t know how much they earned in 2019, but it was probably more than their 2018 earnings.
If the Dodgers are refusing to spend any of their revenue on recruiting players, or retaining their best players then where is all this money going? The answer is that the money is going straight into the owner’s pockets. It’s time to end the Andrew Friedman era.