The Dodgers have optioned talented young infielder Gavin Lux,. Lux had recently returned to Summer Camp after an unexplained absence that may or may not have been related to the coronavirus.
It’s not immediately clear why the Dodgers decided against carrying Lux to open the season. It had long been expected he’d be a key part of the roster after destroying upper-minors pitching in 2019 and holding his own over his MLB debut. That may still come to pass, but Lux will begin the year at the team’s alternate training site awaiting another call-up.
There’s obviously some potential here for service-time implications for the 22-year-old. He logged only 28 days in the majors last year, so even a brief absence in a shortened season could leave him shy of a full year of service when the 2020 campaign wraps up.
Lux obviously has nothing more to prove in the minors, so this decision surely isn’t about his development. With thirty active roster spots, there’s ample space to work with, though the Dodgers are surely committed to carrying loads of extra pitching. The uber-deep organization certainly has many viable candidates to cycle through at second base, where Lux had been the presumed option, though it’s still a bit difficult to imagine he truly fell short on a pure talent assessment.
It’ll be interesting to see how the organization (and Lux himself) discuss the decision when reporters have a chance to pose some questions. It could be there’s some as-yet-unknown developmental or motivational prerogative, or perhaps the Dodgers feel Lux is just in need of further work after a layoff. Whatever the reasoning, the service implications are hard to ignore given that the team could stand to pick up an extra year of control on the back end.
Of course they’re playing the service-time game!
The Kris Bryant story all over again
Jays are doing it with Pearson as well. It’s no story at all.
So what? They have that right. How is it such a big deal when teams play by the rules???
Well the CBA does prohibit service time manipulation so it’s not quite their right to do so. In practice they can do it because all they need to defend their decision is to claim the player needs work on his defense but its not unreasonable to think that what these teams are doing is in bad faith
Agreed. It’s in the Unions book. We by wouldn’t they want to gain another year of control? It’s called smart management
He’s behind. But even if he weren’t., and I haven’t done the math for real, it’s being pretty widely reported that 6 days is the timeline to satisfy the service time manipulation needs this year. That makes last year’s 28 days equivalent to what, 2 weeks? Even if he is the best option, with an already stacked roster that can definitely manage 2b for roughly 3 weeks, you absolutely do this from a business perspective 10/10 times. That is why the Dodgers continue to be relevant in the postseason every year.
Is your math right?
Isn’t it 28 days plus another 7+ days. That’s more than half the season.
I don’t know how 28 days is equivalent to two weeks.
Because the season is 37% as long, each day of service counts for 1 / .37 times as much (or 2.703 times as much). So he wouldn’t have to miss as many days to have his free agency pushed back.
Aww you sound bitter
Just be happy they are playing baseball!!
Some are all about themselves
He flat out is not ready yet, service time or not. His swing looks lost.
I agree with you LandCrabs. Lux May have demolished minor league pitching last year, but I believe he still needs a little more time in the minors.
Too bad there are no minors
Dodgers have not done this with any of their other players.
The Dodgers don’t do that. Never have. Besides, if that’s what they wanted to do I doubt they burn 28 days of service in 2019.
The Dodgers recent history is to not play the service time game….(Pederson and Seager).
as any smart team should and will continue to do because i dont see any fixing the issue without a major overhaul of the service time issue, which isnt worth it for tbe average player.
I’m not sure if the service time game is coming into play as Lux’s clock has already started and he would earn a 3/1 ratio this season in terms of service time this season.
I’m kind of wondering if the Dodgers are just looking at the line up balance at the time being and figuring Kiki and Taylor, both being right handed, might be better fits for the time being. They may also be looking at having to carry an extra reliever or two given the uncertainty in the rotation (and bullpen).
Changing the service time calculation will be a huge bone of contention in the 2022 CBA talks.
If this summer is any indication, there will be very little baseball in 2022.
I watched the game last night and he just seemed behind. Several mental and physical errors in the field. Dodgers didn’t care about service time last season.
Agreed. He just seemed to be out of sync in the intra squad games and 2 D-Back games.
Definitely saw this coming, he had a late start to camp and hasn’t impressed at all since arriving. Needs to get some work in before being handed 2nd base but I do think he will be back with the team at some point
Entered the game late, three hiccups defensively. The Dodgers are not playing with his service time. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have brought him up for a whole month last season.
I doubt if service time played into their decision as much as he needs more time to develop at this point.
If it is not service time it is ability. Maybe they wasted a draft pick on a guy that obviously does not have talent. Talented players are on MLB roster. If he is not good enough trade him.
i agree. if they were so worried about service time then they just would have kept him down last year instead of buring time then.
I like teams playing the service time game. Rather than a rookie season I would like a full season when the player is at his peak. I can definitely see why the players oppose it. The Cubs will now get an additional season from Bryant.
Awful decision. He was meant to be their starting second baseman, and they keep him down for service time?! Scoundrels!
I don’t think that you’ve seen his at bats since coming back. He’s been terrible. Lost as can be. Consistently hitting in the hole with two strikes, 0-2, 1-2. Shaky on the field too. Bad fielder’s choice and couldn’t complete double play due to not gripping ball out of glove last night. Seems like hitting woes spilling over to field. I was wondering how long of a leash the Dodgers would keep on Lux and now we have our answer. They’re trying to win it all. Has nothing to do with service time. If he was raking he would be playing no doubt about that.
Manipulating the system is the mark of a savvy GM.
OMG, batflip. He is obviously not ready. Late to camp, making mistakes in field, batting out of sync; he needs more time.
If it is not service time it is ability. Maybe they wasted a draft pick on a guy that obviously does not have talent. Talented players are on MLB roster. If he is not good enough trade him.
I wonder if the Dodgers will regret not trading him for Lindor when they had the chance.
They won’t. After trading for Betts they need to hang on to Lux. Dodgers won’t be giving out two 300 million dollar deals that it would take to sign Betts and Lindor in back to back off seasons. Rather have 6 years of Lux than 1 + these 60 games of Lindor who might not even be as good of a hitter as a fully healthy Seager.
I expect Seager to be a major factor this season and in the future. I’m talking MVP-caliber. Even many Dodger fans have forgotten how good he is when healthy.
Agree, cey hey. Seager had one off year recovering from an injury and the mob wanted to trade him. Idiots. Dodgers can build a team around Seager.
Absolutely. Hearing Lindor wants $30 million annually over 7 or 8 years. Better off keeping Lux
And they prolong his free agency another year. Yanks did this with Gleyber. Smart move
Ceg is just mad that his Yankees don’t have the pieces to get Lindor.
He is 22 and the Dodgers have two other capable second basemen. Talking about regret is way premature. This is a deep team that doesn’t have to rush players who aren’t quite ready.
They’ll regret trading Verdugo for 60 games of Betts if they don’t win the WS this year that’s for sure.
Dodgers have plenty of OF depth they won’t miss Verdugo
They also have uncommon depth with pitching, catching, and infield prospects. No complaints from this Dodgers fan. in 53 years of following the team, this is my favorite era ever. The organization has never been in better shape.
If you paid a bunch of money for a car and then hardly get to drive it, owning a garage full of other cars doesn’t change what you paid. The Dodgers paid the price of Verdugo for Betts thinking they’d get him for 162 games, not 60. No matter what else happens the Red Sox got really lucky.
Yes, the Red Sox were lucky. If Betts is as good as advertised and Dodgers resign him, the trade will be a Dodger win.
Verdugo was my favorite player on the team, but I approved of the trade. I also think they will re-sign Betts. He’s the perfect fit for the team and its winning culture. It’s also the best fit for Betts personally. All that young, controllable pitching will make it a more affordable decision.
Verdugo’s ceiling is a worse version of Marlins Yelich. Its Jeter Downs who they could regret trading.
Maybe re Downs, but the organization is deep in middle infielders. Gotta give to get, and getting Betts, Price, and Graterol was worth giving up what they surrendered. The team won 106 games and lost in the playoffs, so went out and got better. That’s what a fan likes to see.
Yelich is one of the best players in baseball! If the guy is 2/3 the player Yelich is, he’ll be a great ballplayer.
Guess the “Marlins” Yelich went right over your head. He was a different player in Miami than MKE.
worse version of arguably baseball’s 2nd best player? yeah, what a bum#
Oh yeah, gee, he sure sucked when he was with the Marlins. Forgot about that!
They’re doing this just to get an extra year of control. He’ll be up within a month into the season.
Did you watch last night’s game? They are doing it because he’s not ready. Don’t forget he arrived to camp 10 days late.
If coming to camp late is an issue, Pollock and Baez wouldn’t be on the active roster. This is a service time move, just like Vlad Guerrero Jr last year and Kris Bryant years before
Pollock is ready to go. Lux is clearly not. Again, did you watch last night’s game? It was clear that Lux was out-of-sync on three balls hit to him. Taylor and Hernandez are ahead of him, as is McKinstry. When a team is a deep as the Dodgers, starting positions aren’t handed to rookies. The best players play.
@Fred. Wrong!!! It’s not just the fact that Lux came back late. He doesn’t look close to being ready. Maybe he got COVID and it wiped him out. But whatever it is he’s lost at the plate and that matters to Roberts. It’s not just the numbers but the way he’s doing it. Always behind in the count and striking out or making weak contact. Bad on the field too. When you hear Roberts he talks about the quality of at bats even on outs.
that logic is heavily flawed by them calling him up for September when they won 106 games. Why do it then and now go backwards on that, especially when LA has historically not played this game with their guys
The more likely answer is covid related and therefore his late start. The others you mentioned, as far as we know, had nothing to do with Covid
Add in his at bats have been sloppy and his defense worse, it’s not hard to think he needs another week
He’d need to stay down for nearly 3 weeks in an 8 week season To make up for last years time and get under the expected clock. That’s a lot of time for a competing team to intentionally hurt themselves. Way more likely he’s back in 2 weeks or less, like a normal DL stint
@Fred if this is a service time move why did they call him up in September 2019?
@Fred if they are only doing this to get the extra year of control why did they call him up for a month in 2019?
Look at Corey seager this spring. At this point, not at all
This is not a service time issue. He came late to summer camp and has looked behind in intrasquad games and the exhibition vs. Arizona. Plus Kiké has been hitting. Easy decision for right now
Taylor hitting, too.
Taylor might just be the opening day 2B now.
Does McKinstry crack the opening day roster? Roberts said back in the spring that McKinstry would be a factor at some point this season. Yet another player who can play the middle infield and outfield. At the very least, a chance to get his feet wet.
If CT3 and Kike don’t hit enough at 2B I can see the Dogers shifting Muncy over to 2B and bring another bat into the lineup, either Beaty or Rios. Even Bellinger could shift to 1B, Betts to CF, opening RF. Good to have options. I worry about Smith at Catcher a little bit. He was red hot but faded badly. Spring has been better but we’ll see.
Bellinger to 1B is less likely than turner to 1B imo. They were very honest last year, Bellinger tweaked his shoulder in a dive at 1B and it affected his swing. So they prefer him in CF
More likely is Ct3 and kike split time at 2B along with some late game time in LF. Then Lux comes up within a week or two. He truly looks not ready for a season and they have way too many options to rush anyone
Taylor should be the 2B every game. Really a fine player. A major cog in this team. Know his versatility makes him valuable but he is an every day position player.
Baseball Fan 3
Exactly. Nothing personal. Hernandez, Taylor and Muncy have been hitting and they just look ready to go. Lux will be a stud, but right now here just doesn’t look ready compared to those guys both offensively and defensively. He’ll be just fine, just needs to work off rust.
Dude was the front runner for NL ROY.. maybe next year.
For those of us who have watched the Dodgers intrasquad games religiously this is a no brainer. Kike and Taylor have been hitting. The objective is to win every since game and at bat since this is a 60 game sprint. If those 2 guys are hitting and Lux isn’t it makes more sense to send him to the alternate training site and get the reps needed to get right. Lux came into camp late and hasn’t looked good at all. Lux will be back up at some point once he gets back into game shape and gets his head right. This is not a Chris Bryant move as this team is focused on finally winning a World Series Championship.
No doubt in my mind he’ll be up in about 2 weeks. They can blame the late start to camp for it, but it’ll get them an extra year of control.
Did you watch his performance last night?
I keep thinking that’s Sean Newcomb in a Dodgers Jersey
MLB needs to change this service time rule. If a player is on the roster for more than 50% of the season (82 games) then he should get credit for a full year of service time. This will stop this whole gamesmanship of prospects needing an extra 2-3 weeks to develop. If the kid can help the team, they won’t have him sit out for more than 1/2 the season just to get an extra year’s control over him. I hope the next CBA addresses this ridiculous rule.
The Dodgers are loaded. In light of last night’s game, where is Lux going to play on this team? Defense matters.
Not the way his at bats have been going. He looks completely lost. Not sure why he reported late but clearly it has impacted him. It’s one thing if he’s having good at bats without success but that’s not the case. With 60 game season there is no room for dead weight when you have options.
His bat looks as bad as his defense atm man
He looks like he’s behind. Possibly covid related but he looks… behind seager and turner and Bellinger and CT3 and KIke. That’s the reality. All the other guys are hitting. Why make Lux struggle when you have a hot (and both historically streaky) Kike and CT3 there. I’ll bet they both play more games than not for the first week or 2 btwn 2B/DH/LF
This wasn’t about service time.
1. The Dodgers don’t do that
2. If they wanted to do it here they wouldn’t have called Gavin up for a month in 2019.
people for get teams cant play no games this isnt a normal season. they only have 60 games to play. they cant have guys on the roster who are struggling or need to figure it out. they did the right move. this way more than time. it more about the amount of games they have to work with and need to have the right team every game. plus kiki and taylor are soild right now. so lux can be held back till needed
“It’s not immediately clear why the Dodgers decided against carrying Lux to open the season.” If you watched last nights game against the D-Backs, his two miscues in the field and his arriving to camp late without an explanation, it’s pretty clear the kid’s got some growing up to do.
Just because you don’t know the explanation doesn’t mean there isn’t one…
Funny Indian fans still think there getting Gavin Lux just because he was sent down. Not happening. Better off just re-signing Betts and keeping Lux.
This service time b.s. is going away or dramatically rolled back in the new CBA… So why are the Dodgers even bothering?
while this surprises me, i cant see it being service time. if that’s what it was then why didnt they do that with Seager in 2016? seems pretty clear he was a step behind.
@DarkSide830 yup and why did they burn a month of Lux’s service time at the end of the 2019 season when they had already wrapped up their division title for that year?
I don’t think it has to do with service time.
It doesn’t make any sense.
Stop saying this was about service time.
1. If the Dodgers really wanted the extra year on Lux they wouldn’t have called him up for the last month of 2019 when the NL West title was already answered for that year. Doing that means he has to miss even more of the 2020 season to have his free agency pushed back.
2. The Dodgers don’t do service time manipulation. Their usual MO is to give their best major league ready prospects September callups and then if they look good in Spring Training the next year, they make the opening day roster. We saw it with Pederson, Seager, etc.
He gave the Dodgers a viable reason to option him by him not being available for the start of summer camp. The rest is speculation and doesn’t matter. Non story. The players negotiated and voted yes to the current CBA. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t have signed it
They didn’t need a viable reason. And if they hadn’t called him up for a month in 2019 they wouldn’t have had to keep him down as long in 2020 to get the extra year.
The Dodgers don’t care about the extra year. Never have. Never will.
This is 100% service time manipulation, and there’s nothing Lux can do about it, since the Dodgers are such a deeply talented team at positions he would line up at. Cases like these antagonize labor relations. Someone tell Andrew Friedman he doesn’t have to play moneyball anymore, even when factoring in the global pandemic.
Friedman doesn’t need to be told that. He has had three players under his watch go from high school to the bigs in 3 years. Thats extremely fast track. Buehler was drafted, had TJS and debuted 2 years later. He doesn’t play those games.
You clearly have not been watching the games and intrasquad games. Lux is as lost you can be at the plate. He’s guessing and it’s spilling over to the field, where his defense is a bit suspect to begin with. If he’s not raking then he shouldn’t be on the field.
If it’s service time manipulation why did they call Lux up for a month in 2019? And why didn’t they get the extra years on Pederson and Seager?
Can’t fix stupid, Gabe.
Last couple of scrimmages, Lux has looked a step behind both at the dish and the field. Dude apparently arrived to second camp late with no reason given (COVID has us all acting wacky) but still not a great look. Granted, I am certain Dodger FO knows darn good and well how many services days Lux has left and that made this decision that much easier.