This is some excellent news. With arguably the biggest offseason ahead for the Dodgers, it appears that they are poised to spend. The Dodgers’ ownership group, vaguely referred to as Guggenheim Baseball Management, has forced Andrew Friedman’s hand in past seasons in terms of staying below the luxury tax. The Dodgers barely stayed under this past season and have zero restrictions heading into the 2020 offseason.
According to a recent column by Jorge Castillo of The Athletic, the Dodgers’ ownership group is not forcing Andrew Friedman to remain under the luxury tax with his offseason moves.
The Dodgers have some interest in Josh Donaldson, Andrew Friedman said Mark Prior will replace Rick Honeycutt as the team's pitching coach (as expected), and Friedman said he isn't sure if he will hire a GM.https://t.co/bFPxnT1dMj
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) November 13, 2019
The Dodgers have never given a free agent over $60 million that was not their own under the Friedman regime. That might change. Here is an excerpt from Castillo’s column that demonstrates the Dodgers’ potential willingness to spend.
But Andrew Friedman, the team’s president of baseball operations, insisted the organization has not shied from acquiring expensive, premier talent. He also maintained he has not been directed to stay under the competitive-balance tax threshold of a $208-million payroll after not eclipsing the line the last two seasons.
The quote from Friedman himself really drives this point home:
“We just don’t have hard-and-fast rules. We’re open to different avenues and different levers of how to get better. And I can’t sit here right now and tell you what that means because I don’t know.”
The Dodgers are locks to evaluate all avenues of the market, but will be selective of who they pounce on. The organization — Andrew Friedman, in particular — has expressed that the Dodgers do not plan to be stupid in their operations this offseason. However, it might be time to get ‘stupid’ after a disappointing two World Series losses and an NLDS exit.
The Dodgers need to make a big move and ownership not instructing Friedman to operate as a below-cap team is integral. If there is a point in time where the Dodgers should spend money, it is now.