The Dodgers were dealt a significant blow to their position player group this week. Shortstop Gavin Lux tore his ACL in exhibition play and will miss the entire season. That pushes veteran Miguel Rojas from his expected utility capacity into a regular shortstop role and thins out the overall depth behind Miguel Vargas and Max Muncy at second and third base, respectively.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman chatted with reporters this afternoon and left open the possibility the club could go outside the organization to bolster their position player group (link via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). The L.A. baseball ops leader didn’t hint at any urgency to make a move but implied they could look into ways to fortify the offensive group.
“Depth is always something that we talk about,” Friedman told reporters. “It was a big driver for us to go out and get Miguel Rojas and we feel like between him and (Chris Taylor) that we’re in a good spot. … So for us, if we are going to add from the outside it’s going to be something that fits us differently or is a more impactful player in our mind.”
Friedman noted the club wasn’t limiting themselves solely to exploring the market for shortstop-capable players. That’s tied to Taylor’s versatility, in particular, as he’s capable of lining up essentially anywhere on the diamond. Acquiring a corner outfielder, for instance, could indirectly add to the infield depth by freeing Taylor up for more work on the dirt.
Plunkett writes that any addition, if one comes to fruition, is likelier to come via trade than free agency. Jurickson Profar is the top unsigned position player, while José Iglesias leads the market of remaining free agent shortstops. Identifying viable trade targets is quite difficult at this stage of the offseason. The trade market has been quiet all winter and particularly frigid in recent weeks. The majority of teams have more or less set the core of their season-opening rosters, and there are only a handful of clubs going into the year without any real designs on being competitive.
“It’s difficult. It’s not the most natural time to make a trade,” Friedman acknowledged. “So we’ll spend more time figuring out what’s possible. We’re not sure at this point and we’re trying to wrap our arms around the various profiles of a player and how it would fit. … It just depends on what’s available. Just because of spring training and the nature of it and typically, it’s a slower trade market and more centered around guys without (minor league) options. Now, there could be players like that who fit as well, or it could be someone internal.”
Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo, Kansas City’s Nicky Lopez, the Cubs’ Nick Madrigal and the Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa are among the players whose names have been floated as candidates to change uniforms this offseason — either in publicly reported trade discussions or loose speculation based on those clubs’ infield situations. Buster Olney of ESPN reported this morning the Dodgers had checked in with the Yankees regarding Kiner-Falefa early in the offseason. That was before L.A. acquired Rojas, an acquisition that would’ve almost assuredly ruled Kiner-Falefa out of the plans until Lux’s injury.
There’s no indication the Dodgers and Yankees have revisited those discussions in the past few days or have any plans to do so. It stands to reason the Yankees would welcome talks if the Dodgers were to circle back to him as a possible target. Kiner-Falefa is playing this season on a $6MM arbitration salary; he’s on hand as a possible utility option but could lose the starting shortstop job in the Bronx to top prospect Oswald Peraza. New York is reportedly reluctant to exceed the $293MM final luxury tax barrier — which they’d do with any kind of notable acquisition — and Kiner-Falefa is perhaps the most straightforward candidate on the roster for a trade that could free up some spending capacity.
The Dodgers themselves were flirting with the possibility of dipping below a luxury tax tier, in their case the $233MM base threshold. The Rojas acquisition put that to bed, however, and Friedman has subsequently affirmed they have no plans to shed money and get under the CBT marker at this point. That doesn’t provide much insight into how much room they have for further additions, however. Roster Resource currently projects their luxury tax number around $245MM, which puts them approximately $8MM shy of the second penalization tier.
If they don’t go outside the organization, the Dodgers would run with a regular infield of Freddie Freeman, Vargas, Rojas and Muncy across the diamond. Taylor could step in at times but would presumably spend more time in left and center field, while right fielder Mookie Betts could see some action at second base.
Rojas is more than capable. Even in a horrible offensive year he had 2.5 war. The guy is a solid player. They don’t have to be loaded as much as last year. They are still a good offense. They can work at the deadline if they need to address something.
Pitching is far more important than filling every position slot with a great players, even if Rojas is below average they’ll be fine. Would be interesting to see them swing a deal that ships a good prospect out in exchange for a platoon SS option and taking on a bad contract, allowing them to dip below the luxury tax. Ohtani is already familiar with the area, just sayin…
Maybe they’ll find a hot prospect in the wbc. I hear the Netherlands and Czech Republic are loaded.
Well, if he’s on the roster, Jurickson Profar would play for the Netherlands as the team’s top players are from Curacao. I wouldn’t exactly consider him a prospect but he’s the top remaining FA.
LAD is a Machine. They’re fine and will win a boatload of games w/ Rojas & Taylor at SS
Friedman was clear that this year like every other year he will only be interested in adding via trade Elite talent. That’s just how he rolls
You guys with your rose-colored glasses are funny. Anybody remember how Chris Taylor played last year? Remember it’s not 2019 anymore, same with Muncy. And you don’t know how Vargas is going to react as a rookie. Trayce Thompson as your Centerfielder? Really? You think he will be there on June 1st? And let’s not even start on the starting rotation. Maybe this is the year Dodgers fans will learn to take some perspective and see reality for what it is. We can always hope for some rationality to finally set in.
The Dodgers either need to shed salary to go under the threshold or spend money or trade to replace Lux.
@Manny…..Those are definitely two options, but not the only ones.
I don’t see why Profar isn’t a fit. Taylor was scheduled for regular LF duty, Profar would add a quality bat while getting Taylor in the IF to spell guys.
The trade market will be there come mid-season.
Profar has attitude issues and wouldn’t fit in the dodger clubhouse. Hence why it’s March and he’s still unsigned
All to do with salary demands, not attitude.
Zerb is “wouldn’t fit in the dodger clubhouse” a fat joke?
Profar is not a quality bat. He is nothing more than a replacement level bat. And his defense is worse than that and declining. Nothing more than a below average LFer.
And why the heck would LA trade Miller AND Lux??? Ridiculous.
Last year, Profar had his career year. That’s likely not what you would get from him. Think less by 20%. Do you really think that output is unavailable by playing one of their prospects? Why pay top dollar for a league average player?
completely okay with whatever the Dodgers FO does at this point. That FO has only once made me look back and say “I wish they hadn’t moved him.”, and that’s moving Yordan Alvarez. Other than that, they’ve done pretty well fielding competitive teams every single year. There’s nothing anyone can say to make this statement incorrect. Wouldn’t expect a desperate move for an 8th tier guy like everyone here in the comment section seems to think will happen. They’ll still be good regardless
Profar has a career OBS of .708. And .686 against lefties. An average to below average bat at best.
Dodgers have needed a lefty mashing outfielder for years and AF has consistently failed to acquire one.
Cap & Crunch
It should not cost too much in prospects to acquire Ahmed Rosario who will be a free agent at the end of the season. I liked acquiring Rosario even before the Lux injury, he can play shortstop or even centerfield and is much better and cheaper than Profar.
Except that Cleveland is likely to win their division, and is not looking to trade their starting SS, in spring training. Yes, Cleveland is probably the one team that has the depth to be able to do it. It would take an overwhelming offer, though. It would cost a LOT in prospects, but I’m sure they would listen. Go ahead. Blow them away!
Rosario is a good trade candidate but he’s also loved by Jose Ramirez and the Guardians are favorites to win their division. They’re probably not trading him unless they fall out a bit.
Where’s Manny Mota when ya need him?
deGrom Texas Ranger
This is where Texas comes in and offers Zeke Duran and Josh Smith for some reliever. Or, Chris Young shows his irrational hatred for trades and does nothing.
Why on earth would L.A. want either of those guys?
deGrom Texas Ranger
Look where they play. Besides, they traded for a glove-first guy in Rojas and gave up quite a bit.
The Dodgers acquired Rojas for Amaya.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Exactly what I mean – he had 1 year left and was a salary dump
then extended him
No reason, as far as I can see.
Santiago Espinal is probably available for a RHH 4th OF type, specially LF but CF doesn’t hurt.
Anyone matching that on the Dodgers?
That’s pretty much the role of Trayce Thompson. Seems like if they are going to add somebody it should really be a clear upgrade in the IF or at least a guy that could back up there. Would love to have Kiké back 🙁
Espinal shouldn’t be available. He’s the teams utility guy. Otto Lopez on the other hand… There might be something there.
as a jays fan i see it opposite and they jays while may have extra infield guys now, Chapman is a FA and if Biggio doesnt pick it up a little or Barger is a bust/isnt ready/not that good suddenly the infield is a weakness next season
Now they DO need an OFer that can mash LHP that can play 100 games in the field if needed. But Barger is getting some grass work i believe in case they need the 100 games, hes still a LHH tho.
Agreed. With Barger and Biggio both LHH they can’t sub for Kiermaier or Varsho. They definitely do need a RHH 4th OF guy and moving Espinal is not the piece to trade.
Padres have five shortstops if Dodgers want to borrow one.
Let’s think a little deeper guys….trade Lux and Miller to the Brewers for Adames…
You can’t trade Lux now. He’s damaged goods. And why would the Brewers trade Adames for him anyway?
The Dodgers have had offers involving Lux but turned all of them down. They have no intention of trading him, torn ACL or not.
If they are looking for someone who “is more impactful” that eliminates IKF. Decent player, but not an impactful one.
@Mickey IKF is multi-positional and he can catch too which right up the Dodgers’ alley. They’re just going to have to take Josh Donaldson too.
Wouldn’t that be great! IKF and Donaldson, hope you’re right but I really doubt it.
OR, IKF and Aaron Hicks. That frees up Taylor to play infield as suggested in this article.
IDFK about IKF
Bryan Reynolds is available. His salary would not put the Dodgers over the LT threshold. LA is one of the teams for whom a couple extra wins could be worth a lot. I know the rumors are the Bucs want a return like the Nats got for Soto but that is just rumor. It seems worth trying to find a deal.
They are already over the threshold. I don’t think the Pirates are asking for anything less than a haul. Reynolds, although with no leverage, has stated that he wants out and extension talks have gone nowhere.
Who cares about Reynolds’ “leverage”? The Pirates are not winning anything with him. They have no pitching – neither any elite pitchers nor any depth. They have a deep farm system but few elite prospects. Reynolds on the Pirates is like a janitor driving a Porsche. Sell Reynolds to fill several holes. No need to get a “haul”.
So what have you got against janitors driving Porsches?
If I was a janitor, I would drive a jag, myself, but that would also mean living in a trailer down by the river.
Jag? You must be an apprentice janitor. ;o)
Profar has no place in this conversation.
Lopez or IKF make sense and won’t cost a lot in return. I do wonder why they aren’t interested in Iglesias unless his price is still too high
Yeah that’s a mystery to me too. Iglesias is really the only one of the names floated who might make a real difference, and he can”t be expecting a fortune.
Iglesias’ hitting & defense both cratered last season. May have even been negative WAR. Nobody wants him, he’s kryptonite wrapped in SPAM with a Eat By Date of 4/2018.
@Ignorant. Are we talking about the same player?
He hit 290 something last year, what do you mean his hitting cratered? He hit 270 the year before. And he was just as good defensively as any other year, which is as a plus defender.
His batting line from last season: .292/.328/.380/.708. Seems he cratered upwards, which is definitely the better way to do it.
Keep in mind, this is the poster who lectures Dodger fans about getting real. Trying a little too hard to live up to that screen name, I guess.
Well I never said I batted 1.000. Something was not good with Iglesias last year. There are reasons teams have stayed away from him. Okay, so maybe it was for his defense rather than for his offense. I’ll try to be more careful; I try not to just say s$%t off the top of my head, but sometimes it happens.
Holy crap, you guys mentioned Nick Madrigal and that Bleacher Nation guy hasn’t rewritten your article yet!
Trade for great Andrew Velazquez!
Sign Andrelton and reunite him with Freddie and Heyward
Paul DeJong makes too much sense
I was thinking that as well. The Cardinals might be willing to pay down a decent chunk of salary (at least for this season). Not sure what the Cardinals will want in return but the two could definitely line up
The point would be to actually try to obtain a player who is better than what you have at the moment. Rojas>Chris Taylor>Taylor Swift>Katy Perry>Paul DeJong
DeJong as a reclamation project for the Dodgers could easily be another Justin Turner or Max Muncy
I think this is the most likely approach if they decide to make a move. They don’t need another glove-only SS with Rojas already on the roster. DeJong at least offers some power on contact ability.
This is way out there and logistically not plausible given how close we are to the 2023 season but I’ve always felt that Mookie could play at the bare minimum a passable shortstop. He came up as an infielder, he obviously has the arm and range for it, and he does everything at an elite level because he puts in the work to make it happen. Plus, as the Dodgers have found out the hard way, an elite shortstop is harder to replace than a corner outfielder. Of course, Friedman is right that the trade market is slow right now so I don’t really expect and seismic changes
I consider Betts at shortstop as well, however nothing is guaranteed and Betts could lose some offensive production with him having to get comfortable with the position. I would rather keep Betts in his more natural position, hopefully providing some awesome offensive production. Roll the dice with Rojas and Taylor and see come July.
I know Betts isn’t 37 yet, but for some reason, with those back/hip issues, I don’t see Shortstop as the best way to preserve him into his latter playing career. Betts is close to glass almost, and he just looks -old- to me…I sure hope my instincts are wrong on that take, cuz I sure like Mookie. What a perfectly engineered prototype for a baseball player, circa 2018.
They’re just one tweaked hamstring away from having to try such a desperate thing, which is why they really have to make a move, and sooner rather than later.
None of those free agents nor the listed trade targets are any better than the in-house options. Busch and Vargas are unproven but they have a lot more upside than Iglesias or Profar. Defensively Rojas is perfectly capable of holding down the middle infield, even if he’s not much of a hitter so getting IKF would be redundant since they have very similar skillsets. Replacing the offensive value that Lux had is not going to be easy, it really seems like they should have made more of an effort to retain Justin Turner. He wouldn’t have been pricey, you could have plugged him in to play the bulk of the games at 3b, played Rojas at short and rotated Busch/vargas/turner/Muncy/taylor at second. It’s a shame the bauer situation/contract hamstrung their ability to have a proper offseason.
They need to trade some of that prospect capital for a guy like Adames or Reynolds to move the needle. Prospects are great but many won’t live up to expectations.
Not understanding the J Turner argument. He didn’t even play 3B much and when he did he had less range and more error prone. That is only getting worse with time. He’s more DH than 3B. Martinez is likely an upgrade. Muncy at 3B is more than fine and we’ll see how much bounce back we see this year.
Why would you rotate that many guys at 2B? J Turner at 2B? Guy has no range. Bad candidate at 2B. Vargas doesn’t make sense either at 2B. That’s a potential disaster.
Busch hasn’t proven a thing yet and needs to make the roster first. Taylor is coming off his worst Dodger season, and better suited coming off the bench. A very expensive bench player.
It’s good to have options but you’re better off trading some of the young guys for an Adames or Reynolds.
Reynolds is going to cost for more than he’s worth. Adames helps tho, I could see that. Why would they rotate that many guys? Because that’s how they’ve always operated with their depth, keep guys fresh and versatile. I don’t think Turner is elite on defense but he’s been slotted in at 3b for them for years, it’s not unthinkable. Even if you think he should be a DH, you could have plugged him in there, and instead of getting a washed up JD, they could have added some outfield depth beyond the equally washed Peralta
Moving the needle isn’t as important now as restoring some depth at the position. Last season they had four players on the roster who could play SS. Now, they have two. Friedman may say they have the position covered for now, but everybody knows two is not enough to get through a season, maybe not even a month of the season. The very fact that some are talking about Betts playing short should ring the alarm bells and stinks of desperation. Betts hasn’t played SS since he was a teenager and he wasn’t good at it.
If they wanted lousy players for depth purposes, then sure, iglesias or Pete Kozma or someone would make sense I guess. I really don’t think that’s the mindset though. Give Betts 10-25 starts at second, rotate the rest of the in-house guys in and out of 3b/2b/ss and if possible, add a bat first infielder like escobar. There is almost 0 reason to go for someone like IKf unless you really don’t believe in Rojas.
In what way is Iglesias lousy?
Giving Betts more time at 2B does nothing to solve the SS problem. There would still be nobody to rotate through the position but Rojas and Taylor. The problem with that isn’t a question of belief in anybody.
Iglesias is pretty awful, he barely cracked a 1 WAR season last year and was worse the year before. He’s a glove first shortstop who can’t really do much defensively anymore, no power, no speed. If you want minor league shortstop depth, he’s passable. If he plays anything more than 30-50 games on your major league roster, your season has gone off the rails. If Taylor and Rojas are your two shortstops, keeping them fresh is crucial. Playing betts at 2b a bit will give them more flexibility and keeps taylor/Rojas as your primary ss options with less need for them to play other positons.
This is the One Stat that Rules Them All argument. It fails, because a player like Iglesias isn’t there to carry the team, he’s there to provide depth where it’s so obviously lacking. His defense hasn’t changed much, it’s perfectly adequate, and he hits well for average. What he lacks is power, which is why he gets dinged on WAR. But then so does Rojas. Also, playing Betts at 2B does nothing to keep Taylor or Rojas fresh, if only because on any given day when Betts plays 2B Taylor will very likely be in the OF. The only way to get those two players off their feet on a regular basis is to find someone else to play some SS. The options may be very limited and far from ideal, but that doesn’t change the problem.
Rojas had a worse OPS by a lot and was worth double the value that Iglesias provided, because his defense was actually good. I’m not sure why you want a depth piece who isn’t good at anything but hitting singles, I don’t see how you feel that’s any kind of upgrade. If you just want someone to play shortstop but don’t care about offensive value, why not Andrelton Simmons? He would take an milb deal, and while he sucked badly last year, he’s only a year removed from posting elite defensive numbers, whereas Iglesias hasn’t even been passable since 2019.
I didn’t call him an upgrade, because that’s hardly the point. But since you have, if a team lacks depth at a key position the addition of anyone who can credibly play it is an upgrade. Simmons is another possibility but his game has completely come apart in the last couple of seasons, so if anything he looks even more dicey than Iglesias. Not a lot of great choices out there. None, really. But as I said, the lack of ideal solutions doesn’t alter the problem.
You’re correct that depth is important and that the available names inspire little confidence. But if you’re saying that the benchmark is credible defensive ability, how can you advocate for Iglesias and ignore Simmons? I fully admit that neither is top of the line, and both have serious flaws in their game but that doesnt mean that you cant make a qualitative analysis and make the best choice possible. Simmons is an all time great defender at shortstop, and posted elite defensive numbers in 2021. Iglesias has never been in that class, and hasn’t been more than a scratch defender since 2019. It’s not like either is going to make or break the team, but if your goal is to get a defender who can play short, there’s really only 1 option out there on the market. That, or trade for IKF.
I haven’t advocated for anyone, I was simply questioning your pronouncement that Iglesias is lousy, which still seems like an overstatement. And I’m also not ignoring anyone. If you read back through my posts here you’ll understand what I am advocating. Without repeating everything I’ve said already, it’s for something Andrew Friedman seems unprepared to do.
OK dude whatever you say
And here I thought we were having a respectful discussion. My mistake.
I think the dodgers could be in for a long season. This is the first year in a while where it looks like they have many holes and unproven areas to fill. Losing Justin turner and Trea Turner and replacing them with big bats seems like holes in the line up. Then you factor in that Cody Bellinger was great defensive center fielder; yes he didn’t hit; but he could catch balls that could normally drop. It seems like at least on paper that 2-3 starting positions have question marks by them. Plus their pitching doesn’t jump out at you like in years past. With the Padres getting better the Dodgers could come back to just being a average team
Farmer from the Twins?
Dodgers need to work a deal out with the Twins for Kyle Farmer … maybe prospects or a reliever
Escobar from the Mets.. give Baty full time 3B and Escobar can play anywhere in the IF for the Dodgers.
Mets would be stupid to do any trade with the dodgers; they are likely post season match ups so why strengthen the dodgers. Besides the Mets don’t need any salary relief in moving Escobar
But it wouldn’t be stupid for the Dodgers to do any trades with the Mets?
Why would it be stupid? It’s not like saying they should trade with the Padres. They’re both contenders but that doesn’t mean it would preclude a deal if the needs aligned.
If Baty seemed just a little more MLB ready, this would actually be a great trade for both teams. Escobar would be a really good fit, but Baty’s offensive profile/ceiling screams “Eric Hosmer” and that’s not gonna cut it. Although, the mets have enough offense to trade Escobar and give more reps to Guillorme and his elite defense, so I could see it. Dodgers have a few mlb quality lefty arms and the mets kinda need those types. Maybe escobar for Victor Gonzalez?
As an O’s fan, I’d hate to lose a guy like mateo who may not have much in the way of value with the stick, but certainly makes up for it on the basepaths and in the field. But they do have both Jackson Holliday and of more immediate impact, Gunnar Henderson. Should definitely at least listen should the dodgers come to inquire.
C Yards Jeff
Scruffmc; agreed. Shocked if Os are playing for the playoffs this year. Moving either Urias or Metao (sp?) makes sense to me. Both guys have enough big league time to be attractive to other teams. With one or both gone, that log jam of talent including the likes of Westburg, Ortiz, Henderson, Norby, Vavra get a chance to get “reps” at league level.
Yankees have surplus SS??
Everyone wonders why the Padres have half a dozen SS’s on their roster. This is why.
Just think Dodgers gonna have to roll out with what they got and see what’s available at trade deadline. Pretty sure Lux Injury opens a spot for Heyward on the Roster. SS available now just don’t make a substantial upgrade to what they already have. I think the most reasonable upgrade at the position would be Adames from the brewers but we see in couple months time. Rojas and the boys should keep the Dodgers in contention into July.
Good point about Heyward. I really see an opportunity for him here, hopefully he can seize it and surprise everyone. He would be a cool Comeback Player of the Year story.
Easy solution to this problem. Make a trade for Ryan McMahon of the Rockies to fill in second base. If he costs too much in prospects, perhaps a trade for Luis Guillorme would be interesting. Guillorme is an elite fielder but his hitting his not something to brag about. No power, doesnt strike out, walks decently, .270 BA. Guillorme is not an everyday player but I could see the Dodgers trading for him. Mets don’t really need him with McNeil locked up and they can always slide Mauricio to second if McNeil goes down with an injury
Motor City Beach Bum
Roll the dice on a return to form for Javy Baez and ship Vargas or Busch there. When he’s on he is a middle of the order guy and good for 30hr 100rbi. Don’t like that, expand the deal and get some extra pitching because the Tigers have lots. Reynolds is overpriced and Milwaukee is NOT trading Adames…they will probably finish ahead if LA. As of right now I don’t see LA making the playoffs.
Unless you are going after Adames or Anderson don’t waste your time or resources! Just wait for Lux to get healthy next year! Most of the guys out there that people are talking about are not better than Rojas or CT3
The Dodgers could take Javier Baez off of our hands in Detroit! With the Tigers most likely not competing anytime in the next few years we really don’t need a player of his magnitude. But the Dodgers are most likely not interested in him anyhow. It was just another dumb signing of Al Avila that we will be stuck with for the next 5 years! But he does play a great SS and can run into 30 HRs per season so maybe???
The Rangers just DFA’d Matthias to make room for Will Smith, so he could be an answer to infield depth if the Dodgers are interested.
I believe they’d be interested if he played SS.
Tatis for a famous Dodgerdog. Problem solved.
Paul Dejong is probably available for almost nothing except taking on his contract
Call Detroit for Javier Baez! You can get him for a song & a dance!
If the Dodgers sign Profar and play Trace Thompson, their starting left fielder is a player whose option was declined by the Padres last year, and their starting centerfielder is a player cut by the Padres last June.
I dont see a lack of depth, at least compared to the rest of mlb teams.
I get the sense the dodgers spend an inordinate amount of time biting their nails as to who option 47b might be.
Its okay. Relax.
They plug in their 2.5 war bench guy into a starting role, replacing the other 2.5 war guy. And still have a 2.5 war guy. And may bring up some 30 year old dude from beer league to have a 2.5 war year. I exaggerate somewhat. It just seems very minimal compared to other teams needs, with their finances, luck, and player development.
IKF is cheap and redundant: the question is what does Cashman’s unqualified ego value him?
A trade proposal with the Cardinals. Diego Cartaya for Jordan Walker. Straight up, no other players involved.
Hey Dodger fans. Reds fan here (sadly). I have a question regarding a trade proposal I heard on a Reds podcast.
2B Jonathan India for C Diego Cartaya.
Would this be a good trade for Dodgers or bad trade and why?
Tim . Anderson . Send white Sox some prospects.
Kyle Farmer & Max Kepler from the Twins to the Dodgers for ________