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Friedman, Zaidi weigh in on Kershaw, Roberts

November 1, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- The futures of Clayton Kershaw and Dave Roberts with the Dodgers are seemingly in limbo, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi on Thursday sounded like neither the pitcher nor the manager was going anywhere.• Negotiations with Kershaw, who has an opt-out

LOS ANGELES -- The futures of Clayton Kershaw and Dave Roberts with the Dodgers are seemingly in limbo, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi on Thursday sounded like neither the pitcher nor the manager was going anywhere.
• Negotiations with Kershaw, who has an opt-out clause in his contract, were extended from Wednesday night's deadline to today at 1 p.m. PT. Friedman said the negotiations were "pleasant" and Zaidi called them "ongoing."
"Ongoingly pleasant," Friedman said at the club's annual season-ending news conference on Thursday.
Presumably the sides are working toward an agreement that would keep Kershaw in Los Angeles for longer than the two remaining years left on his contract, but probably at less than the $32.5 million annual salary.
"Obviously, he's made as much of an impact as you can on an organization as anybody in terms of the success we've had, on the field and from a culture standpoint with young pitchers with a work ethic and emulating the drive," said Friedman.
• The club also holds a 2019 option on Roberts, and previous negotiations on an extension did not result in a deal, but Friedman and Zaidi reiterated that they support the manager. Friedman said he didn't foresee any obstacles to an agreement, which he indicated had not been reached because of timing, not Roberts' performance in the World Series, or otherwise.
"We talked in Spring Training, made significant progress, but reached a point where focusing on the season was something we all wanted to do," said Friedman. "We agreed to table it and pick it up when we were done playing."

• Zaidi is rumored to be a candidate for a Friedman-type role with the Giants, but both club officials deflected questions.
"You haven't fired me, have you?" Zaidi asked Friedman. "My focus is on the Dodgers until these guys tell me otherwise."
• Speaking of the World Series, Friedman said the central theme for the loss to Boston in five games was an offense that "really struggled" at an "unfortunate time" that "decreased our margin for error on the pitching side."
Friedman rejected blaming the struggles on the club's platooning lineups.
"So, it works for the regular season, it works for the DS, it works for the CS, but it doesn't work for the World Series?" he said. "I don't know how to answer that."
Zaidi defended Roberts' strategic decisions as part of a process the club still believes in.
"Dave's process is part of having conversations with us, with coaches, trusting his gut and how he sees the game unfold," said Zaidi. "We believe and continue to have full faith in his process. Sometimes things turn out your way, sometimes they don't, that's baseball. Putting the microscope on one decision here and there takes away from the opposition. The Red Sox are a terrific team."
Zaidi said he didn't blame Roberts for having confidence to make a pitching move in Game 4 to a bullpen that helped win the 18-inning Game 3.
"As far as responsibility," said Zaidi, "we're all responsible -- front office, players, coaches, manager -- for not getting to our ultimate goal. But we have a lot to be proud of. There's a difference between not getting to your ultimate goal and feeling you have to dole out blame."
• The Dodgers passed on expensive signings last offseason to stay under the $197 million competitive tax threshold and reset penalties. Friedman wouldn't say if such a limit would restrict the Dodgers this year, but that he has "plenty of resources to win a World Series next year. We feel really good about what 2019 looks like."
• Zaidi said Roberts' coaching staff would be invited back for next season.
• Friedman said he's optimistic shortstop Corey Seager would be ready for Opening Day after Tommy John surgery and hip labrum surgery, but he still has considerable rehab ahead of him and he won't be rushed back.
• Friedman also said each of the Dodgers' starting pitchers used in relief this year -- Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Thomas Stripling, Julio Urias, Caleb Ferguson and Dennis Santana -- should have the mindset of being a starter going into the offseason.
• The Dodgers acquired Minor League infielder Justin Yurchak from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Minor League left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos.

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