Who will be playing shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2023 has been a source of speculation all offseason long for fans of the team.
Some were hoping that perhaps the team would re-sign free agent Trea Turner. He was east coast bound from the get-go, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. Others thought maybe some of the other high profile shortstop free agents such as Xander Boegarts, Dansby Swanson or (shudder) Carlos Correa.
All of those players signed elsewhere, leaving fans to wonder if the Dodgers were going to rely solely on who they had on the team already. This might be the year they gave Gavin Lux his turn at shortstop, his natural position.
But on Wednesday, the Dodgers finally made a move in that department, trading for infielder Miguel Rojas. In exchange, the Dodgers sent minor leaguer Jacob Amaya to the Miami Marlins.
Rojas is returning to the organization with whom he made his major league debut. He was called up on June 6, 2014, and ended up making a spectacular play at third base to help keep Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter intact just two weeks later.
Last season in Miami, Rojas hit just .236 appearing at 140 games. However, injured his wrist in the first game after the All-Star break, sliding into third base. He played through the pain, starting 50 of 71 games, but his offensive production plummeted. He had surgery on the wrist in October 5th.
Craig Mish of the Miami Herald reported that there had been a minor set back with Rojas’ wrist, but nothing serious enough to hold up the trade.
Rojas was on Dodger Talk on Wednesday night, and talked to host David Vassegh about his wrist.
“There’s still a couple other things that I need to figure out with the wrist, but at the end of the day I’m going to be ready for spring training if all goes well.”
“I’ve been progressing. I feel like there’s a ways to go before spring training and all the things in front of me,” Rojas told Vassegh. “I just want everyone to know that my first objective is to help the team win during the season. I’m not going to force anything before that.
“I’m going to everything that is in my power to be 100 percent in spring training and play games over there.”
Time will tell who the starter is at shortstop for the upcoming season, but Rojas fits the Dodgers’ mold of a versatile infielder, playing third, short, and first. Between he, Chris Taylor, Lux, Max Muncy and Miguel Vargas, we may very well see a different defense at the 4, 5, and 6 positions every game until things start to work themselves out.