Dodgers In Need of Manager and Improved Pitching

Not only do the Los Angeles Dodgers need go hire a manager, they also need to bulk up their pitching rotation and bullpen for the upcoming season.

The Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, has said that the search for managerial candidates is ongoing and that he expects to hire the new manager sometime before the winter meetings begin next month.

On Monday, Friedman declined to discuss the search process or comment on anyone the team has interviewed.

Friedman, speaking on the phone from Florida, once again declined to comment on the negotiations that are underway to retain the Dodgers former ace, Zach Greinke. The thirty-two-year old right-handed ace opted out of the final three years of his contract, giving up a guaranteed $71 million contract to become a free agent.

“We’ll leave it up to people’s imaginations,” he said.

The Dodgers did, however, extend qualifying offers to Greinke and free agents Brett Anderson and Howie Kendrick. Each player has until Friday to accept, and Friedman says the team has yet to hear back from them. Greinke, of course, is expected to reject the offer that would pay him $15.8 million next season.

“We’re going to be focused on pitching,” Friedman said. “We still need to round out our opening day pitching staff.”

If Greinke does indeed depart, Clayton Kershaw and youngster Alex Wood would be the only known starters going into 2016. Hyun-jin Ryu, currently recovering from shoulder surgery, is “a big wild card,” Friedman said.

“I don’t know yet whether we can fully count on him,” he said.

Andrew Friedman also said Brandon McCarthy will be back some time after the second half of the season after under going Tommy John surgery.

As far as the Dodgers lineup, Friedman said its “pretty locked in,” with the exception of of second base, which could open up if Kendrick rejects the clubs one-year qualifying offer.

Heading into next year, the “three big wild cards,” remain right fielder Yasiel Puig, center fielder Joc Pederson and catcher Yasmani Grandal, who Friedman singled out.

The one thing you can say about Friedman is that he has “a lot of optimism they can be significant contributors for us next season,” which would seemingly indicate there are absolutely no plans to trade Puig. The Cuban is focused on slimming down and improving his hitting habits after he suffered a blister on his left hand.

“Its just getting him back to what he was mechanically,” said Friedman, adding that Pederson is also working to eliminate the dip in his batting average.


Quotes courtesy of The Score

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