Andrew Friedman: Dodgers Attempt To Get ‘Creative’ In Free Agency & With Trades, Don’t Deliberately Avoid Luxury Tax

When the Los Angeles Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the more intriguing storylines was how he would operate and carry forward a vision without being under financial restraints of a small-market team.

Through five seasons as president of baseball operations, it’s fair to describe Friedman as being diligent in his leading the Dodgers front office. Friedman has shied away from long-term contracts but also been aggressive at the July 31 trade deadline on multiple occasions.

Although the Dodgers won a franchise-record 106 games and extended their streak of National League West titles to seven, there is mounting pressure as the organization’s World Series drought reached another year — due to being eliminated in the NL Division Series, no less.

With the Dodgers again linked to marquee free agents, Friedman once more dispelled the narrative he is unwilling to make a substantial financial commitment and he explained the team’s general approach to signings and trades, via MLB Network Radio:

“I think there’s a little bit of a misperception in that we don’t have a cold, calculated number that I can’t go a dollar over. We try to get creative in deals and structure them in different ways — whether it’s free-agent deal or a trade deal. And not just box ourselves into either having to get one specific player or having one specific contract structure or trade idea. We try to have as many options as we possibly can. Lining up on trades is really difficult. Lining up on free-agent signings is really difficult. … I do think our mindset for the most part is being aggressive.”

Friedman previously spoke of having an aggressive mindset — without crossing into recklessness — both leading up to the trade deadline this year and earlier in the offseason.

And while Friedman, Dodgers owner Mark Walter, and president and CEO Stan Kasten have refuted the club has a mandate to not surpass the luxury tax threshold, the team again kept payroll below the mark. In doing so, the Dodgers can spend freely this winter without paying any sort of repeater tax in 2020.

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