Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Friday that “we are trying to solve for talent and be as creative as we can to put the best team on the field as we can.”
How creative can Friedman and his colleagues be? We’ll find out soon enough.
One obvious trading partner for the Dodgers’ glut of outfielders all but eliminated itself from consideration Monday, when the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract. The Mets’ outfield is full now with Cuddyer, right fielder Curtis Granderson and center fielder Juan Lagares.
Offensively, the Mets had needs at both corner outfield positions. Their left fielders ranked 29th in MLB in OPS in 2014 (.615) and their right fielders ranked tied for 14th (.735).
Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford and right fielder Matt Kemp are both on the wrong side of 30. Teams might be more hesitant to project their future production based on recent performance, especially given their injury risk. Yet both Crawford (.767) and Kemp (.852) — who are reportedly on the trading block — would have given the Mets an immediate upgrade on offense.
Between those roster needs and a payroll full of young, cost-controlled players, Flushing Meadows seemed to be a good fit for at least one of the Dodgers’ surplus outfielders. At the moment, the Mets have $54 million committed to four players. The Dodgers have approximately $197 million committed to 15 players (in actual salary, not according to the luxury-tax valuation).
But reportedly, the Mets didn’t like what they saw on the trading block:
Told that after surveying trade market, Mets simply didn’t want to part with talent to acquire corner outfielder. So, they part with pick.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 10, 2014
For the Dodgers, it’s back to the drawing board. Time to get more creative.