The failure of the Dodgers $310MM roster leaves the club to deal with some tough decisions, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. President Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi focused on improving clubhouse chemistry in their first season at the helm. The reports are largely positive with manager Don Mattingly and pitcher Zack Greinke both commenting on the improved chemistry. However, Friedman and Zaidi didn’t add much of value at the trade deadline. Their principle additions – Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Luis Avilan, and Jim Johnson contributed almost nothing to the postseason roster.
Here’s more from Sherman on the Dodgers offseason:
- Mattingly has won three straight division titles, but he may be on the hot seat anyway. Friedman and Zaidi inherited Mattingly so their decision to stick with him could depend on their working relationship. By discarding Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, and Brian Wilson from the roster, the Dodgers were left with a more cohesive roster. Mattingly deserves credit for managing the complicated outfield platoon and transition from Jimmy Rollins to Corey Seager. The Dodgers problems – namely a thin rotation and thinner bullpen – were hardly Mattingly’s fault. The roster construction simply fell short. However, Mattingly could still wind up as the scapegoat, especially if the front office has a better candidate in mind.
- As CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman first reported, Zack Greinke will opt out after the season. We’ve previously seen five years and $150MM as a high estimate for Greinke, but Sherman thinks the bidding could go beyond that threshold. However, Greinke isn’t the type to “chase the last dollar” if he doesn’t see a clubhouse fit. The Dodgers have plenty of questions in the rotation after Clayton Kershaw. It seems likely they’ll sign at least one of Greinke or fellow free agent ace David Price.
- Outfielder Yasiel Puig is the lone leftover problem child from the previous administration. The club could trade him after a disappointing season, but they would be selling low. Teams would still be interested due to an affordable three years and $19.5MM remaining on his contract. Other franchises are worried about his reputation, injury history, and thickening body. As Sherman puts it, a thicker Puig may experience further injury and lose explosiveness at the plate.