Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With the World Series now complete, MLB shifts its focus to an offseason filled with uncertainty. That is of particular impact for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are tied for the lead with 11 free agents.
As the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is set to expire on Dec. 1, the possibility of the league’s first lockout since 1994 is looking more likely by the day.
A work stoppage would put a freeze on free agency and leave hundreds of players in a state of flux. While some may prioritize signing before the deadline, others will be without a team for an undetermined period of time until there is a resolution.
“I think so much of it will get back to the individual player and what their mindset is,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman answered when asked how the team will approach free agency this offseason.
“These guys have worked really hard to put themselves in position to be a free agent and to figure out what makes the most sense for them. In some instances, I could see someone saying, ‘Hey, I want to be here. Let’s engage and talk about that.’
“Others it can be, ‘I want to fully vet out the market.’ Neither answer is right or wrong. It’s really personal, so I think we’ll draft off of each individual guy and what their mindset is and figure it out as we go.”
The Dodgers have decisions to make on the likes of Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen, among other free agents.
Friedman noted he is willing to negotiate new contracts with the aforementioned players before the current CBA expires if they take initiative. “I think they’re going to drive that,” he began.
“So much of it is going to be what makes the most sense for them and their families. Basically if any of our are guys are like, ‘Hey, let’s engage now,’ then great.
“That said, I totally get the other side of it as well. If they want to understand the market, vet that out and have more awareness of what the alternatives are, I understand that as well.”
Friedman: Dodgers ‘prepared’ for potential lockout
In the likely event of a lockout, Friedman assured the Dodgers will be ready for whatever comes their way. “I guess we’d have to be,” he said of the organization being prepared for a potential work stoppage.
“I think from our standpoint, we are one of 30 teams with people working really hard at that. As soon as we have news on that, obviously we need to be prepared accordingly. Whatever that is, we are just reading the news kind of like you guys and then reacting based on what’s going on.”
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