The Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman away from the Rays today, making him their president of baseball operations and retaining Ned Colletti as an adviser to president Stan Kasten. Obviously, this will have long-term ramifications for the Pirates, in that one of the best GMs in baseball is now in charge of a National League team that actually has money. But there could be short-term ramifications, too, and they could be profound.
The Dodgers have an obvious hole at catcher, and were already expected to be players for Russell Martin this offseason. That expectation looks close to a certainty now. Friedman is well equipped to appreciate the work Martin does behind the plate, having for years employed a light-hitting catcher in Jose Molina who became a sabermetric darling for his pitch framing. Now, Friedman will have nearly unlimited funds to throw to a great defensive catcher who can actually hit.
Signing Martin would put the Friedman era off to a great start, particularly since signing with the Dodgers would represent a homecoming for Martin, who played his first several seasons in Los Angeles. I probably already would have called the Dodgers the favorites to sign Martin before Friedman arrived, but now Martin to the Dodgers seems so obvious that it would be foolish to predict anything else. Baseball has a way of making obvious predictions look silly, of course, but as a Pirates fan, Friedman's hire is bad news.