Friedman on Dodgers: 'I really like our team'

Roberts views Maeda as part of starting rotation

February 13th, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Did the Dodgers, after losing back-to-back World Series, do enough over the winter to get a ring?

Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, said there's no shortage of feedback on the question.

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"You can go to Starbucks and the barista can say, 'You need more pitching,'" said Friedman. "Everybody has an opinion; it's the blessing and the curse of the passion the fans have."

A year ago, roster changes were limited compared to this winter, when key contributors , , and were traded or left.

"We just felt it healthy and good to bring in different guys at times," he said. "The most important thing for fans, are we in position to win a World Series, and I think we are. Time will tell. We have a chance to be an elite team."

Friedman didn't rule out a spring acquisition, especially considering the quality and quantity of available free agents, but stressed that "I actually really like our team. We really have no weak spot on the roster."

"I really like our projected 25-man and the depth we have behind it. That said, it's not in our DNA to sit back and think the roster is on lockdown. We always have conversations and are thinking about things. If we do something, we'll feel that much better."

• There seems to be no spot in the starting rotation open after manager Dave Roberts said he views "as a starter for us. That's all I'm thinking about. We see him as one of our five starters," despite Maeda moving to the bullpen the past two offseasons.

The rest of the rotation, if everyone is healthy, is , , and . That leaves , an All-Star last year, and left with bullpen roles, although they will be stretched out in the spring.

• Friedman said an announcement could come within a week on the responsibilities of , who retired from playing last season and will fill a front-office role for the Dodgers.

Danny Lehmann, last year's game planning and communications coach on the big league staff, this year will serve in a hybrid role that will include visiting the Major League club, scouting and working with Minor League catchers on game planning.

Bill Haselman, manager of Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, has been reassigned to a roving Minor League role.

• Roberts told his players to ease into Spring Training after a short offseason, but Hill had other ideas. His first bullpen session of camp Wednesday was the 14th since late December.

"If you look back at his recent history, he really doesn't have good springs and typically coming out of the gate, he's a slow starter," said Roberts. "For him, he wanted to get ahead of it and do something different."