After two years with a substantial payroll and being unable to get past the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in need of a change. As far as power moves go, the Dodgers certainly turned heads when they hired Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations.
Friedman of course is credited with getting the Tampa Bay Rays out of obscurity as he routinely accomplished more with less. With an investment banking background, Friedman is known for his success in using advanced analytics to help construct a roster.
While the Dodgers have made recent strides in getting up to speed with the use of now-trendy analytics, they by no means are ahead of the curve. That being said, manager Don Mattingly said he’s interested to see where the Dodgers compare to the Rays, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
We all know what we hear about Tampa Bay and what they’re able to do and we’ve been using them, too,” he said. “I’d like to see if we’re close to what they’ve been doing or not close or where we are.”
During his introductory press conference, Friedman brushed off the notion of him falling under the “Moneyball” category. Friedman stressed that he values all approaches and trains of thought, and summed it up with “information is king”, which he stated on multiple occasions.
While they come from different backgrounds, Friedman and Mattingly have both expressed optimism in working together to help get the Dodgers to the next level. Despite rumors that Joe Maddon would follow Friedman west, which intensified when Maddon opted out of his contract Friday, Mattingly still has Friedman’s public support.
One of Friedman’s first opportunities to apply analytics to a roster decision pertaining to the Dodgers could come with deciding on a course of action for Hanley Ramirez. Sure, he was arguably the hottest hitter in 2013, but his struggles defensively and inability to remain healthy in 2014 suggest the shortstop may not be worth the large contract necessary to re-sign him.
Whatever method Friedman chooses to rely more heavily on, the expectation to win will remain unchanged.
Dodgers Introduce Andrew Friedman As President Of Baseball Operations