Drafting, developing and the World Series.

When you hear a general manager (like Ned Colletti) or a President, Baseball Operations (like Andrew Friedman) or a President/CEO (like Stan Kasten) tout the importance of drafting and developing, it’s not just hot air.

The Dodgers drafted and/or developed eight of the men on their 2014 postseason roster: Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias, Dee Gordon, Scott Elbert, A.J. Ellis, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. They were also the first MLB team to sign Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig following their time in South Korea and Cuba, respectively.

So, let’s call it 10.

The Royals and Giants both have 13:

Giants Royals World Series

Since neither team is a large-market franchise, you wouldn’t expect them to have signed a majority of their players as major-league free agents. But it’s an object lesson in what the Dodgers are striving to be, in contrast to what they are today.

Game 1 of the World Series begins at 5 p.m. tonight on Fox.

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Poll: Should the Dodgers trade Matt Kemp for David Price?

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp hit 25 home runs with a 140 OPS-plus, while shifting to right field full-time in 2014. (Associated Press photo)

The Detroit News posed the following question yesterday: “How could the Dodgers pass on a Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and David Price 1-2-3?”

To do so, the article suggests, the Tigers might trade Price to the Dodgers for outfielder Matt Kemp, with the Dodgers eating a portion of the five years and $107 million left on Kemp’s contract.

It’s a juicy idea. New Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was Price’s GM in Tampa Bay. The Dodgers have wanted Price since they drafted him out of high school in 2004. The amateur scouting director who drafted Price then (Logan White) is still with the Dodgers, though a few other teams have caught on to Price’s talent in the last 10 years.

For now there is more sizzle than steak. It’s a rumor — a blockbuster fantasy trade proposal for real life.

The only thing we know for sure is that Friedman never had to deal with this many guaranteed long-term contracts in Tampa. We don’t know how he will deal with them in Los Angeles.

Kemp might have been the Dodgers’ best outfielder last season, but Price is a year away from free agency. And on Friday, Friedman said “it’s really important to do as much as you can to put yourself in position to pay for what a player will do, not necessarily what they have done.” Trading Kemp for Price could achieve that.

What say you?

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Watch: Man in Dodgers hat carries man from burning building.

To head off a few well-founded criticisms first:

1. If the man were wearing a Giants hat, I wouldn’t link the video. That’s probably wrong.

2. Don’t try this at home, unless your home is on fire and you’re OK to carry someone else out of it.

3. Don’t try to perform heroic acts while wearing a Dodgers hat simply to become famous, because that’s not a trend I want to be responsible for creating.

OK, here’s the video (and the story, both courtesy of KFSN in Fresno):

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Report: Bryan Minniti is the frontrunner for Diamondbacks’ assistant GM job.

Bryan Minniti, the former Washington Nationals assistant general manager who’s been mentioned in connection with the Dodgers’ vacant GM job (see here and here), is a front-runner to become an assistant GM with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to this tweet Saturday:

Minniti, 34, was in charge of the Nationals’ contract negotiations and arbitration hearings. He was rumored to be a Dodgers target because of his connection to team president Stan Kasten in Washington. Now, with Andrew Friedman taking over as the Dodgers’ president, baseball operations, the choice of GM belongs to Friedman.

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On Paul DePodesta, Craig Wright, and rounding out the Dodgers narrative.

In case you missed my piece on Andrew Friedman’s front office in Tampa, and how the Dodgers’ front office might evolve under their new President, Baseball Operations, here it is.

In choosing the narrative I chose — comparing the Dodgers’ front office under Fred Claire to their front office under Ned Colletti to the Rays’ front office under Friedman — I ignored what you might call some “inconvenient truths.” It’s not so much that I ignored them; there just wasn’t space to properly acknowledge them and still write a story that you would want to read.

Truth number one: The brief Paul DePodesta era (2004-05). Here’s an extended summary of what happened and how it was perceived.

Truth number two: Craig Wright.

Who, you ask?

Continue reading

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Dodgers will play five 2015 preseason games against the Angels.

The Dodgers haven’t announced their preseason/spring training/exhibition/unofficial game schedule yet, but we know roughly one-sixth of it.

That’s because the Angels announced their schedule yesterday, and it includes five games against the Dodgers.

The Freeway Series will begin Thursday April 2 and Friday, April 3 in Anaheim (both games are at 7 p.m.). On Saturday, April 4, the series shifts to Dodger Stadium; the time of that game hasn’t been announced yet.

The regular season begins for both clubs on Monday, April 6.

In Cactus League play, the Dodgers will host the Angels at Camelback Ranch on Thursday, March 19 at 1 p.m., and visit the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m.

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A couple words from Jamey Wright on the Dodgers’ season.

Jamey WrightI spoke to Jamey Wright, the Dodgers pitcher and former Tampa Bay Ray, for a piece about Andrew Friedman that you’ll read soon. We were talking about Friedman, and the team he would be inheriting, when Wright volunteered a couple thoughts on this Dodgers team and the 2014 season.

These didn’t really fit with the rest of the Friedman story, so here they are:

“It’s a frustrating team to watch, a blessing and a curse, to have so many former all-stars,” Wright said. “We lose a couple and play awful, then when we won a game the atmosphere was ‘we’re the best team in baseball’ — thinking we had talent and teams were going to roll over and let us beat them.

“I’m still trying to figure out why I’m at home right now and not in San Francisco.”

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Dodgers hire Andrew Friedman: The view from Tampa Bay.

Andrew Friedman

The Dodgers named Andrew Friedman their President, Baseball Operations on Tuesday. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ poaching of Andrew Friedman from the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office produced a predictable ripple effect in Florida. Call it somewhere between a minor tsunami and a major tidal wave.

How big is losing Friedman to the Rays? “It’s a huge loss,” said the man who’s replacing Friedman, Matt Silverman. Silverman also called the announcement “difficult and emotional.”

Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly writes that owner Stuart Sternberg — not Friedman, not manager Joe Maddon — is the linchpin to the Rays’ small-market success. Yet another local scribe called Friedman “the Rays’ MVP.”

Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times compiled a list of Friedman’s best and worst transactions as the Rays’ GM.

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Poll: Are the Dodgers a better team today?

Well, you got your wish. Sort of.

In my last poll, I asked which Dodgers coach or executive should be fired. About 94 percent of you thought someone should lose their job and just under half of you thought it should be general manager Ned Colletti. Don Mattingly was a relatively distant second.

Thursday morning, we awoke to find a Dodger team with no general manager, Andrew Friedman as President of Baseball Operations, and Colletti serving Friedman and Stan Kasten in an advisory capacity. (If you slept through Wednesday, here’s the full story.)

The question now: Are the Dodgers a better team today than they were yesterday? Leave a comment below once you’ve voted.

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