Dodgers miss out on Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon as search for upgrades continues

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “I feel like from our standpoint, what we could control, I felt really good about how we handled it,” Friedman said. “There have been and there are going to be lots of times when someone’s first choice is the Dodgers and we get that advantage. When we don’t, we certainly understand it.”There had been speculation that Cole – who grew up an Angels and Yankees fan, played his high school baseball at Orange Lutheran and starred at UCLA – would like to play close to home. That proved untrue.“Obviously we had a lot of interest in Gerrit. At the end of the day, he chose to go to the Yankees,” Friedman said Wednesday. “We wish him nothing but the best. As soon as we got word last night, we turned our attention to other conversations we were having to continue our pursuit of adding really talented players to our roster.”In that light, Friedman indicated earlier this week that the Dodgers’ focus was narrow, with only about a dozen players (free agents or possible trade targets) fitting their view of elite players capable of upgrading a roster that won 106 games during the regular season last year.That list is shrinking. One night after Cole agreed to join the Yankees, free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels, the Dodgers losing out to rivals near and far. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start The rule will impact left-on-left specialists such as Adam Kolarek, acquired by the Dodgers at midseason last year. Kolarek was effective in the role last year, facing just one batter in 16 of his 26 appearances with the Dodgers in 2019 and two or fewer in 20 of the 26.“It definitely takes a hit,” Friedman said of the value of carrying a specialist like Kolarek. “But he is a guy who has some weapons vs. right. … My sense is he’s going to need more time locking in on (those adjustments) and that will determine a lot of his success going forward.”Friedman also suspects the rule will be a boon to left-handed hitters who struggle against left-handed pitching – a group that includes Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. Pederson’s playing time is largely determined by the Dodgers’ desire to have him avoid facing left-handed pitching.“It definitely changes things,” Friedman said. “It adds a lot of value to left-handed hitters who struggle left-on-left. They’re going to see way fewer matchup situations like that. I think there are going to be certain hitters that I think really benefit from it.” SAN DIEGO — It’s a quote that has increasingly become a millstone dragged around by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. But three years ago, he said teams that are “always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.”At least this time, the Dodgers appear to have finished second.Right-hander Gerrit Cole agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, ending a high-stakes free agency that included offers from both the Dodgers and Angels. The Dodgers’ offer topped out at eight years and $300 million (with an unspecified amount deferred, affecting the ultimate value). The Angels also offered an eight-year deal for less money (but deferred payouts would also have affected the actual value).Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner authorized the ninth year in his team’s offer and Cole had the outcome he wanted – to be a Yankee. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Like Cole, Rendon is represented by Scott Boras. And, like Cole, Rendon (a Texas native) defied predictions based on geography, going with the Angels over the Texas Rangers and Dodgers.“I would say it’s certainly a nice place to grow up,” Boras said to laughs Tuesday when asked about Rendon’s Texas roots. “Geography is something players look at and evaluate. But I don’t think it’s an overriding consideration.”The Washington Nationals tried to sign Rendon to an extension before he reached free agency but he rejected their seven-year, $210 million offer. The Rangers’ offer was reportedly for only five years. It’s unclear whether the Dodgers got far enough along to make a formal offer to Rendon.“He’s a franchise player,” Boras said. “He has postseason acumen now, so he kind of stands alone.”LEFT OUTMLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday said he expects a rule requiring relievers to face at least three batters (or finish an inning) to be “operational in the 2020 season.”Related Articleslast_img read more