On Thursday morning, both Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi sat in front of reporters and answered many questions in regards to the team. Obviously, the biggest question at hand was what the latest was with Clayton Kershaw, who has until Friday at 1 p.m. PT to opt out of his contract.
Friedman described the negotiations as “pleasant”, where Zaidi described them as “ongoing”.
The original deadline for a decision was Wednesday night by 9 p.m., but Friedman believed the turnaround from the World Series loss wasn’t enough time.
“He’s made as much of an impact on an organization in terms of success we’ve had,” Friedman said. “Not just on the field, but from a culture standpoint.”
Another offseason question is whether or not the Dodgers will bring back Manny Machado. With the injury to Corey Seager, LA had a void to fill at the shortstop position. During the trade deadline they went out and got Machado, and some believed the Dodgers may attempt to re-sign him in the offseason.
After a controversial postseason, many doubt whether or not LA has any intent of bringing him back.
“From a helping us win games standpoint, we feel like he came in and did a lot to get us to the point he did,” Friedman said. “He’s talked about the not hustling thing. Doc talked to him a lot about it.”
“Some guys don’t hustle and it’s that they don’t really care. And some guys don’t hustle and they do care. That distinction does matter in terms of the mindset the guys have. It wasn’t a great look. Being up in the suite and watching it, it’s not a great look. He even commented that he looked at a replay of something where he’s ‘Oh wow, that didn’t look great.’ But I think he did care and his teammates really liked him and respected him.”
Another one of the hottest questions is surrounding what the Dodgers plan to do with manager Dave Roberts. With his contract up, and after some controversial decisions in the World Series, many fans are calling for a new skipper.
Though there aren’t any active talks, Friedman isn’t concerned, as he thinks both sides will be able to reach a deal and bring back Roberts.
‘We talked throughout the year about how optimistic we are,” Friedman said. “We’re going to work together for a long time. We remain that way. When we get to a point of having something to announce, we will.”
After being the first team to bench their top-four home run hitters in a World Series game, Friedman says it won’t impact how they set their lineups moving forward. “90 percent of the home runs those guys hit were against right-handed pitching,” he said. “The fact that the other team started a lefty [David Price] mattered.”
“I also think we had a very deep lineup against left-handed pitching as well. We struggled against lefties for a period of time. We got to a point where we were very well balanced against left-handed and right-handed pitching. From the NLCS on, we struggled offensively. It happens over different points of the year. Unfortunately, the timing of that was unfortunate.”