<
>
Get ESPN+

Dodgers tempted to step back, retool ... but they shouldn't do that

Andrew Friedman just completed his first full year as the Dodgers' president of baseball operations. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to buy pitching again this winter, writes Bill Shaikin. Look for the Dodgers to get younger, writes Pedro Moura.

The Dodgers theoretically could look to retool, to take a full step back and focus on building something lasting. But there are two reasons Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, can't completely buy into that:

1. The Dodgers don't have to take a step back; they have the money. Ownership has made it clear that it will do whatever is necessary to win. In becoming the first team in history to post a payroll of more than $300 million, the Dodgers took a lot of criticism for gluttony, for waste, and a few of Friedman's deals have served to clean up some of that.

But you know what else the Dodgers have done in the past few years? Win.

For all the flak that former GM Ned Colletti and former manager Don Mattingly absorbed, the Dodgers have made the playoffs each of the past three seasons, winning 92, 94 and 92 games, respectively, during regular seasons 2013 through 2015, taking the NL West title each year. Although the team hasn't reached the World Series, Colletti and Mattingly followed up on the vision of ownership and president Stan Kasten, and despite a lot of clubhouse dysfunction, the Dodgers have won a lot of games, which has served to significantly rebuild the team's attendance:

2011: 2.94 million
2012: 3.32 million
2013: 3.74 million
2014: 3.72 million
2015: 3.75 million

So while it might be tempting to assume that there's a new and better formula, the Dodgers cannot abandon what they are: a team with a lot of financial muscle.