Speaking six days after a World Series Game 7 loss to the
Friedman said the Dodgers are exploring candidates to replace assistant hitting coach Tim Hyers and player development director Gabe Kapler, vacancies created last week. Hyers became Boston's head hitting coach and Kapler Philadelphia's manager.
Roberts has one season remaining on the three-year pact he signed in November 2015. While he declined to say whether he planned to extend Roberts' contract, Friedman praised the manager's work and indicated he wanted it to continue.
"We expect to work together for a long time," Friedman said at a news conference at Dodger Stadium.
Roberts took criticism for several of his pitching moves during the playoffs. Friedman acknowledged that he would have made some decisions differently, but noted that many of his choices might have produced worse results.
The front office faces its own decisions this winter, including one on Shohei Ohtani, the tape-measure-home-run-hitting, 100-mph-pitching Japanese star who is expected to arrive on the
Ohtani, 23, would be unable to sign for more than about $3 million to $4 million, rendering his decision difficult to predict. Dozens of teams will make offers. The Dodgers, because they are limited by international spending rules, can only offer about $300,000. However, some people close to Ohtani say money might not be the biggest determining factor. There has been speculation he might favor teams that would allow him to hit and pitch.
"It's a situation we are monitoring closely," Friedman said, adding that he was open to the idea of a two-way player.
Friedman said he expects shortstop
Gonzalez is 35 and, with the emergence of rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger, lacks a clear role on the Dodgers. Next season is his last under contract. Still, Friedman said he expects Gonzalez in camp in February, "strong and healthy."
General manager Farhan Zaidi said the Dodgers did not see any "glaring needs" on a roster that won 104 games during the regular season but wasn't quite good enough to defeat Houston in the World Series.
"I'm not sure if I'll ever really get over it," Friedman said of the loss.
Said Zaidi: "Going to a Game 7 of a World Series, it really makes stark how fine the line can be between having a somber press conference like this one," Zaidi said, "and having your players show up on Saturday Night Live."