4. Who’s on second?
Dee Gordon had a breakout year with the Dodgers in 2014, helped by his conversion from shortstop to second base. His production nosedived in the second half of the season, however, and Friedman wound up trading him as his first major move in charge of the Dodgers. While the return package of Chris Hatcher, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes, and Howie Kendrick were all key contributors to the team in 2015, many fans and sportswriters skewered the deal after Gordon blossomed into a superstar while playing in Miami. Now, with Kendrick as a free agent, the pressure is on Friedman to provide a long-term double play partner for Corey Seager.
The good news is that there is no shortage of options at second base both within the Dodgers’ organization and in free agency. Hernandez became a dynamic super-utility player in 2015, but has made it no secret he’d prefer starting at one position, if possible. The Dodgers also have an intriguing prospect in Jose Peraza, a speedster whose playing style closely resembles that of Gordon. If Peraza can put up a good showing in Spring Training, the job could easily be his. As for free agency, Kendrick and Ben Zobrist are joined by Daniel Murphy as the top second base options on the market. All three have solid if not great bats but below-average defense.
Also, they’re all in their thirties and will command multi-year deals, which wouldn’t help the Dodgers with this next question…