[mlbvideo id=”37044215″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman
In the wee hours, Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman discussed Wednesday’s exchange of players with the Marlins and Angels. Above is some video, below are some excerpts …
On acquiring Howie Kendrick:
“Well, obviously we traded away some really good players tonight in Dee (Gordon), Dan Haren, and Miguel Rojas. But we feel like within the totality of the moves that we made ourselves a better team, adding Howie Kendrick. We felt like he fit us incredibly well; the right handed bat, tremendous hitter, really good defender. And then the young players we got in Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher. We felt like within the totality of it we made ourselves a better team.
“Howie is really good on both sides of the ball. Really good defender. Good bat to ball, we feel like. The right-center approach that he brings with him is something that fits incredibly well with Dodger Stadium. Great makeup reports. We feel like he’s going to fit in really well in the clubhouse.
“Obviously, Dee is a really talented player. We feel like Howie is, too. As far as who’s better defensively it’s probably not appropriate to opine on, but I think Howie is a very gifted defender.”
On how the trades came together:
“We started this offseason with really good basic talent in place. We were coming off an extremely successful (National League) West division championship. But as we looked at it and tried to figure out different ways that we could try to continue to improve the roster, we felt like there were certain areas we could target and certain guys that fit within the scope of what we were trying to do.
“We had talked a little bit with the Angels in the past couple of weeks about Kendrick, just expecting some interest and not knowing how things might evolve, and feeling like Howie was a guy that could potentially fit us incredibly well.
“We’ve had conversations with the Marlins since I guess the GM meetings, kind of off and on in different iterations. And the last couple of days things have really picked up. We felt like it was potentially an opportunity to line up on both fronts.
“We went to sleep (Tuesday) night we felt like the (Andrew) Heaney-Kendrick part was in place if we could line up on all the details on the Marlins side. A lot of back and forth Monday, Tuesday and today, and finally got to a point where it worked for both sides.”
On next steps:
“I think we have a lot of conversations still going on. A phone call can change things, as we talked about the past few days. … We’ve obviously had a tremendous amount of conversations with the teams and various agents. And obviously something can happen, but we still feel like we’re going to continue to focus on how we can continue to improve our roster.
“It’s certainly possible that we’ll add two pitchers, two starting pitchers, whether it’s through the trade front or on the free agent market, but it’s safe to assume we’re going to try to add two starters.
“I think you’re always constantly evaluating your roster, trying to make improvements wherever you can. My guess is we’ll continue to do that the remaining days of the winter, into Spring Training and into the winter as well. … We still have two more months until pitchers and catchers report, and there’s a lot more time for us to continue to focus on how to improve our roster.”