LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcomed new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to Los Angeles on Friday, and other than saying his plan was to hire a yet-unnamed general manager and confirming manager Don Mattingly would return in 2015, here is a summary of the rest of the conference.
Asked if he would offer Hanley Ramirez a qualifying offer (the deadline is five days after the World Series ends), Friedman didn't bite, saying only, "We will let you know over time."
Not only will Friedman hire a general manager, but will also bring on others to the front office, though many will be determined over time.
"There are certain areas we want to focus on, where there might not be someone currently in that job," Friedman said. "In other areas where people are, my expectation coming in is to work with them in that capacity."
One of those positions is director of player development, with De Jon Watson now in Arizona. That position figures to be filled after the GM is hired.
"I've started coming up with a list, and it will be another topic of conversation in the very near future," Friedman said.
When asked if any from the Rays front office would join him in Los Angeles, Friedman gave an interesting answer.
"We're not bringing anyone right now."
Emphasis mine. Friedman was asked if there was anything preventing him from bringing Rays executives to the Dodgers.
"It's not clear. I have a good relationship with those guys. I'm not looking to hurt the Tampa Bay Rays. I believe there are a lot of good people here, and we'll add people as well," Friedman said. "I wish the Rays nothing but the best going forward."
Friedman used the word "collaboration" several times both during and after the press conference.
"I'm a big fan of collaboration. Anyone who thinks there is one person making all decisions is naive. There are a lot of decisions being made on a daily basis, and one decision sets off a domino effect, one direction versus another. I think having as much intellectual firepower, attacking all the different decisions we have is a good thing," Friedman said. "I think people coming at situations is a fresher perspective is helpful. All I care about is getting more decisions right than wrong, and having more resources to help us do that, the better."
Here are a few more thoughts from Friedman on Friday (you can watch his full press conference here):
On his relationship with players...
"We're going to communicate, we are going to talk to guys. We are going to be very open and honest and forthright. People are going to know exactly what we're thinking. I think it's important that whatever conversations we're having behind closed doors, that we have with the players. What we feel like are their strengths, what we feel like are their goals and things they need to work on, so that line of communication is open, guys know what the situation is and where they stand."
On operating with the largest payroll after financial constraints in Tampa...
"It's important for us to embrace the financial advantage that we have. We're not going to shy away from it, but we're still going to maintain some of the disciplines that I feel are important in roster construction to put yourself in the best position to sustain success.
"There are things that will make much more sense here than they do in other markets, but that being said, it's really important to do as much as you can to put yourself in position to pay for what a player will do, not necessarily what they have done."
On balancing signing free agents and building a farm system...
"It's possible to operate on simultaneous paths. We're going to do everything we can to put ourselves in position to be as good as we can in 2015, and we're also going to spend a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy to create the infrastructure of a scouting and player development side to put ourselves in the best position to aggressively add talent to our system.
"We also need to be mindful about sustaining it. If we ever have to go out to the free agent to constantly rebuild, it's not a viable business model. It's not a viable situation for us to be competitive year after year. Having a robust farm system is important in a lot of different ways. It's important to be able to supplement your major league team and it's also important to be able to use certain guys to go out and get things that you need, whether it's in the offseason or July."