Dodgers 'encouraged' after Corey Seager goes from rehab to training

LAS VEGAS -- Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, who missed all but 26 games last season after having Tommy John surgery, has gone from rehabbing to training for next season, according to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

"He's doing well," Friedman said. "He just got back to L.A. today. Now I think he's to the point where he's able to switch gears from rehabbing, to training and we're encouraged by where he's at. Obviously, we'll know a lot more as we get into January and [he] ramps up his baseball skills."

Friedman said Seager has started a throwing program and is running and doing "a little bit" of hitting.

The Dodgers are one of the teams in the running to sign free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, but Friedman, who hasn't signed a player to a nine-figure contract since he arrived in October 2014, said he likes the Dodgers' roster with or without a monster move during the MLB winter meetings this week in Las Vegas.

"I think the pressure we feel is to make a splash in October much more so than December," Friedman said. "For us, it's about having as good a team and as balanced a team as we can. There are certainly things that we'd like to do before the start of the season to accomplish that, but we feel we have a really talented team."

Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger is also in Los Angeles this week working out at Dodger Stadium, which is something Friedman expects other young players to do before the start of spring training.

"[Bellinger's] working with our hitting guys this week and is very hungry to continue to improve," Friedman said. "He's in a great frame of mind going into this offseason to make some adjustments here and there ... We end up having a ton of guys working out at Dodger Stadium. When I first got here we had two or three, and now looking out of my office window, we have 15-20 guys at various times working out."

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been working out at Dodger Stadium following his heart surgery in November, and Friedman said he expects Jansen to be ready for the start of spring training without any limitations.

"I saw him the other day, and he looks great," Friedman said. "He's in a great frame of mind. He's working out, and it went as well as we could have hoped."

The one position Friedman would like to shore up before the start of the season is catcher. Yasmani Grandal, who struggled during the postseason and was benched in favor of Austin Barnes, is not expected to return, and Friedman would like to add a catcher through free agency or a trade.

"We are real high on Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz, but we don't feel it's in their best interest to start on opening day, so adding someone from the outside is a clear area where we can augment the team," Friedman said. "But we also feel strongly and believe in Barnes as a player and feel like he will bounce back in 2019. He's already hard at work at getting back to where he was.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if Will helps us win games in 2019. When that is, I'm not sure, but I think he could catch defensively in the major leagues right now and be upper-echelon, and we think there's real potential with the bat, but getting more at-bats and more reps is helpful and put him in better position to get to the major league level and hit the ground running."