Dodgers expect SS Seager's return by spring training
Seager is recuperating from Tommy John surgery in his throwing arm in April and a hip operation in August.
"Everything, to this point, all the checkpoints have been really good, really positive," Friedman said at the general manager's meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. "Until you start really ramping up, you don't really know. He's worked extremely hard. He's in really good hands, so we remain optimistic."
Seager played in just 26 games in 2018 and batted .267 with two homers and 13 RBIs. He injured hip in early April and then tore the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow later in the month.
Friedman said the hip surgery wouldn't prevent the 24-year-old Seager from remaining at shortstop.
"The surgery is pretty common with a really high rate of return with guys returning similar to what they were," Friedman said. "So I don't think so. But obviously, any one player can play out in different ways. But I know firsthand how much he's dominated the rehab process and putting in the work, so that makes us feel as confident as we can, sitting here in November, that he won't miss a beat."
Seager's season-ending injury led to the eventual trade in which the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado to fill the hole at shortstop.
Machado is now a free agent. The Dodgers aren't projected to seriously pursue him with Seager expected to return and Justin Turner entrenched at third base.
Machado batted just .227 in the postseason, had times when his hustle lacked and was accused of dirty play during the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Machado was booed on the road for the rest of the postseason, including during the World Series. The Boston Red Sox won the series in five games, and Machado went 4-for-22 with no homers.
"I think it's never a fun thing to watch, at least from my perspective and vantage point," Friedman said of the fan reaction. "But I do think it's important to dig further and I think there are times when guys do that and they don't really care. ... And by care I mean, the effort they put into their work, what type of teammate they are, and Manny checks all of those boxes.
"So would I rather see more effort as I'm watching? Of course. I think anybody would say that. But I think that, in itself, isn't as critical of a dynamic if he didn't care, if he didn't put in the work, didn't put in the effort. That, in our 3 1/2 months being around him, was really strong."
--Field Level Media
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