Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Dodgers optimistic, motivated to chase '18 title

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers executives spoke on Tuesday for the first time since the World Series ended last week, assuring fans they will continue working to end a 30-year title drought.

"We're excited and encouraged that a lot of this group is going to be back and we're going to look for every way to make it better," general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "Going to a Game 7 of a World Series, it really makes stark how fine a line it can be between having a somber press conference like this one and having your players show up on Saturday Night Live.

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers executives spoke on Tuesday for the first time since the World Series ended last week, assuring fans they will continue working to end a 30-year title drought.

"We're excited and encouraged that a lot of this group is going to be back and we're going to look for every way to make it better," general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "Going to a Game 7 of a World Series, it really makes stark how fine a line it can be between having a somber press conference like this one and having your players show up on Saturday Night Live.

"So, I do think, it's really motivating. It was exhilarating to get to the World Series, to see our fans respond to it. In the last few years we've taken steps each year to get to the ultimate goal. And our goal is a year from now we'll be able to say, that was another step for us."

Video: Friedman and Zaidi share their offseason plans

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman updated some injuries, saying he was hopeful shortstop Corey Seager will successfully rehab his right elbow without surgery. Friedman said he expects Adrian Gonzalez to be healed from a herniated disk that ruined his season and report to the club's Spring Training "strong and healthy." Outfielder Andrew Toles (knee surgery) and reliever Yimi Garcia (Tommy John surgery) are expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training.

Friedman said he "expects-slash-hopes" to work with manager Dave Roberts "for a long time," but wouldn't talk about an extension to Roberts' contract. Friedman said he expects longtime pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, as well as the remainder of Roberts' coaching staff, to return in 2018.

However, assistant hitting coach Tim Hyers has already left to become hitting coach for the Red Sox, and bullpen catcher Rob Flippo has been let go after 16 seasons. There had been speculation that Chase Utley might join the staff, but Friedman said he believes Utley wants to continue playing.

Friedman said he considers Kenta Maeda primarily a starting pitcher, he didn't rule out re-signing free agent pitcher Yu Darvish and was reluctant to discuss the potential posting of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, whom he scouted in the summer. But Friedman added that "it's a situation we are monitoring closely." Friedman said having a pitcher that also plays a position "is doable," and added he'd look forward to that challenge of figuring it out if the opportunity arises.

Video: Friedman discusses possibility of Yu Darvish's return

With the General Managers Meetings around the corner, Friedman said the front office is working to fill vacancies created by the departures of Hyers, player development execs Gabe Kapler and Jeremy Zoll, and Minor League pitching coach Matt Herges, as well as free-agent players Darvish, Andre Ethier, Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson.

"We're fortunate that a lot of the team is going to be coming back," Zaidi said. "We don't feel we have any glaring needs. We'll continue to be opportunistic to improve the roster."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers