Three years and five days before the Dodgers finished off the Cubs to advance to their first World Series since 1988, they remade their front office by hiring Rays general manager Andrew Friedman to become the team's first president of baseball operations. Three weeks later, on Nov. 6, 2014, Friedman
Three years and five days before the Dodgers finished off the Cubs to advance to their first World Series since 1988, they remade their front office by hiring Rays general manager Andrew Friedman to become the team's first president of baseball operations. Three weeks later, on Nov. 6, 2014, Friedman added A's exec Farhan Zaidi as general manager and former D-backs and Padres GM Josh Byrnes as senior vice president of baseball operations.
Together, that trio (and the many others they've added to their team since) has completely remade the roster and the organization. Since the day Zaidi and Byrnes came on board, the Dodgers have made 73 trades involving at least one Major Leaguer, the second most in the Majors behind Seattle. (Trades of players to be named later are counted separately, for these purposes.)
Beyond that, 14 players on the current roster came via trade, the most of any postseason team. Just four members of the 2017 National League Championship Series roster have been continuously with the Dodgers since before the new regime arrived -- Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson. (Others, like Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, became free agents before deciding to return. A separate group, including Adrian Gonzalez and Hyun-Jin Ryu, haven't factored into the playoffs.)
From the first trade (acquiring Kyle Jensen from the Marlins on Nov. 17, 2014) to the most recent (acquiring Connor Joe from the Braves on Sept. 24), all 73 have had an impact. Let's count down the 10 that have had the most impact on the current team. (We're not including those for Rich Hill and Chase Utley that led to free agency, though they later returned.)
10. Aug. 19, 2017: Acquired OF Curtis Granderson from the Mets for Minor League P Jacob Rhame
They don't all work! This one, to put it lightly, has not, despite the fact that it should have. After a slow April with the Mets, Granderson spent the next few months mashing, hitting a stellar .263/.383/.570 from May 1 through the end of his Mets tenure. However, Granderson posted a mere .161/.288/.366 with the Dodgers, and in 15 postseason appearances, he has just one hit. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Rhame made his Major League debut in September with the Mets.
9. July 31, 2017: Acquired LHP Tony Watson from the Pirates for Minor League IF Oneil Cruz and P Angel German
Long one of the best setup men in the game, Watson's attempt to replace Mark Melancon as Pittsburgh's closer was bumpy, and he'd lost the job earlier in the season. Watson was a little better with the Dodgers -- a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings, after a 3.66 mark for the Bucs -- but of course, the division was totally wrapped up by the Trade Deadline. This was about the October bullpen, though Watson has faced just 13 hitters so far. He did throw 2 1/3 scoreless innnings in the NLCS.
8. July 31, 2017: Acquired LHP Tony Cingrani from the Reds for OF Scott Van Slyke and Minor League C Hendrick Clementina
This was the same, but different. Cingrani was struggling badly with the Reds (a 5.40 ERA in 23 1/3 innings), but has been far better with the Dodgers, striking out 28 against just six walks in 19 1/3 regular-season innings, good for a 2.79 ERA. That's a change that in some part can be credited to the Dodgers asking him to use his slider more, which he has, 25 percent of the time with Los Angeles after just 3 percent of the time with Cincinnati. While he's barely been needed in the postseason, he's become one of manager Dave Roberts' more reliable relievers.
7. Jan. 24, 2017: Acquired 2B John Forsythe from the Rays for RHP Jose De Leon
After what seemed like an entire offseason of rumors about Minnesota's James Dozier, the Dodgers eventually turned around and traded their (at the time) No. 2 overall prospect to Tampa Bay for Forsythe, who had put up two straight above-average seasons for the Rays. But Forsythe broke his toe in April and never really got on track, hitting just .224/.351/.327 with six home runs, though his defense was very good. On the other hand, De Leon appeared in only one game for Tampa Bay, missing time with back, lat, and elbow injuries. Consider the jury out on this one.
6. July 31, 2016: Acquired RHP Josh Fields from the Astros for Minor League 1B Yordan Alvarez
In a flurry of Deadline deals last year -- the Dodgers also acquired Hill and Josh Reddick from Oakland, as well as Jesse Chavez from Toronto -- this was a little-noticed move that flew under the radar. And why not? Fields had a 6.89 ERA in 15 games for Houston before spending the three months leading up to the trade in Triple-A. But in 79 games for the Dodgers over two years, he has a 2.83 ERA, striking out 82 in 76 1/3 innings, with his high-velocity, high-spin, high-in-the-zone fastball fitting in perfectly with the Dodgers' bullpen philosophy.
Fields has been useful, but this isn't without risk. The 20-year-old Alvarez hit .304/.379/.481 in 391 Class A plate appearances for the Astros this year, appearing in the Futures Game.
5. July 31, 2017: Acquired RHP Yu Darvish from the Rangers for Minor League 2B/OF Willie Calhoun, P A.J. Alexy, and IF Brendon Davis
This was the big one this year, and it didn't come cheaply. While they didn't part with Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler or Yadier Alvarez, Calhoun was the team's No. 4 overall prospect, and while he's defensively limited, he's considered to have elite bat-to-ball skills. Still, the presence of Darvish has helped alleviate any considerations of Kershaw having to go on short rest in October, and that's almost as important as the two excellent starts he's contributed in the playoffs, striking out 14 against just one walk and two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings.
4. July 30, 2015: Acquired LHP Alex Wood, RHP Jim Johnson, LHP Luis Avilan, 2B Jose Peraza and RHP Bronson Arroyo from the Braves; acquired RHP Mat Latos and OF Michael Morse from the Marlins for 2B Hector Olivera, LHP Paco Rodriguez, and RHPs Zack Bird, Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo and Kevin Guzman
OK, deep breath. This one, part of a complicated three-team trade that also involved Draft picks, was initially notable because of the shocking departure of Olivera, who had been signed for $62.5 million just four months earlier. Then, it was largely panned because Latos and Johnson combined for an 8.16 ERA for Los Angeles after arriving.
But now, it's looked at as an (expensive) steal, because while that pair flopped and Morse and Arroyo never played for the Dodgers, Wood blossomed into an All-Star this year, and Avilan became a useful lefty reliever. Combined, the pair has given the Dodgers 364 1/3 innings of 3.36 ERA ball. Meanwhile, Olivera is no longer in organized ball.
3. Dec. 18, 2014: Acquired C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Joe Wieland and RHP Zach Eflin from the Padres for OF Matt Kemp and C Tim Federowicz. (Eflin was then flipped to Philadelphia as part of a deal for SS Jimmy Rollins)
The second major trade of the Friedman/Zaidi era was easily the most controversial, as many fans were turned off when the newcomers dealt longtime star Kemp, who had bounced back from injury to hit .309/.365/.606 in the second half of 2014, to a division rival. But they accurately foresaw how Kemp's defensive limitations and hip issues would limit his overall value, and he lasted just a season and a half in San Diego, later being dealt to Atlanta for -- of all people -- Olivera.
Grandal, meanwhile, turned into a borderline star, adding elite pitch-framing and a .237/.332/.448 line that's been the second best of any catcher behind Buster Posey over the past three years. Throw in the $75 million the Dodgers saved, and this one worked out very well for LA.
2. Dec. 11, 2014: Acquired C Austin Barnes, UT Enrique Hernandez, RHP Chris Hatcher and LHP Andrew Heaney from the Marlins for 2B Dee Gordon, RHP Dan Haren and SS Miguel Rojas
Speaking of controversial deals, Gordon was a popular Dodger who immediately went off and led the NL in batting average in 2015, though his star dimmed with a 2016 suspension and an underwhelming '17. Though Hatcher didn't work out as hoped, Heaney has turned into Howie Kendrick, who gave the team two league-average seasons, and Hernandez has spent three years as one of baseball's foremost lefty-mashers, even before his Game 5 heroics.
The real jewel, however, is Barnes, who broke out in a big way in 2017, hitting .289/.408/.486 with elite pitch framing of his own. He has essentially supplanted Grandal as the team's starting catcher during this playoff run.
1. June 19, 2016: Acquired UT Chris Taylor from Seattle for RHP Zach Lee
The biggest deal, however, may have been the quietest. Lee had been a first-round pick in 2010, but despite having signed a $5.25 million deal, he'd made just a single start for the Dodgers. Taylor had been unable to win a regular job in parts of three seasons with the Mariners, and he hit just .207/.258/.362 in 34 games with the Dodgers after the deal. This was, at best, a depth trade of formerly well-regarded prospects.
Lee never appeared for Seattle, got into three games for the Padres and is now out of baseball. Taylor, meanwhile, has had baseball's most unexpected breakout. Thanks to a drastically overhauled swing that echoes that of Turner's, Taylor hit .288/.354/.496 with 21 homers, making starts at five positions and sharing NLCS co-MVP honors with Turner. The Dodgers would be lying if they said they saw this coming; they're happy about it nonetheless.
Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.