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.
13 thoughts on “Dodgers Add Infield Depth, Trade for Miguel Rojas”
I would rather they don’t keep moving everyone around. Put Rojas at SS, Lux at 2B, and Vargas at 3B and leave them alone. Trade KT3 and/or Muncy to get under the CBT.
I agree, Jim, that I much prefer they don’t move people all over the diamond from one game to the next. But I would prefer Rojas at short, Lux at 2nd, Max at 3rd and Vargas in left.
I expect Muncy to be back close to the Muncy of old, so I’d rather keep him around.
As far as CT3 is concerned, a trade wouldn’t be impossible, but they’d have to send some cash with him. They’d also be trading him at his lowest value, so I’d almost rather keep him. I think he could be the old Chris Taylor as well and if that’s the case he’s well worth keeping.
None of us knows how really important it is for AF to go back below the penalty number this year, but if it’s that important, he’ll find a way to do it.
I am beginning to think getting under the CBT this year is not imperative.
Curious why you expect max to rebound Jeff.
Could be just a heavy dose of wishful thinking, but I’ve read that last off season was basically lost to him because of his injury and sometimes when a player gets out of an off season routine, it really throws off his season.
Also, in checking his 2022 stats, I see where the months of Aug/Sept are pretty much back to his lifetime numbers, where the first four months were absolutely horrendous. That also leads me to believe the lack of off season training really hurt his production for the first part of the season.
After I posted my answer to your question, Gordon, I came across this article, which pretty much says what I said, except it’s from Muncy himself.
Rojas should provide good backup for the IF and while not a great hitter should be adequate as he doesn’t K a lot. I guess they didn’t think Amaya would hit or be ready at the mLB level.
At first I didn’t like the look of this trade. Amaya had 17 HR and .369 OBP in AA and AAA. Even in hitter friendly leagues those look like numbers to build on.
But on second look, I think the Dodgers may be trying, once again, to position themselves ahead of the curve. Rojas has superior range at SS. The Dodgers may be anticipating that, with elimination of IF shifts onto the grass, infielder reflexes and range become a more valuable commodity. Having infielders that can get to hot liners and ground balls better than the other teams may be worth a good number of runs saved in the new environment.
The range factor becomes important for outfielders also since infielders won’t be able to range as far out to catch flares.
Whew just in time. He’s almost 25.
Any word on any international signings?
We got two of the top 50:
Shortstop Joendry Vargas (#3)
Outfielder Arnaldo Antigua #23
I’m sure there will be others but probably not in the top 50.
These were guys that have been in agreement with the Dodgers (unofficially) since long before today.
The team hasn’t made anything official yet because they haven’t had their physicals yet. In the next few days we’ll probably hear some more names.
Here’s a more complete list from Baseball America, although there may be others at some point:
Joendry Vargas, SS, Dominican Republic
Arnaldo Lantigua, OF, Dominican Republic
Daniel Mielcarek, SS, Dominican Republic
Jesus Tillero, RHP, Venezuela
Elias Medina, SS, Dominican Republic
Anderson Jerez, RHP, Dominican Republic
Erick Batista, RHP, Dominican Republic
Impressive that the dodgers were able to get 3rd, and 23rd international prospects, considering they had a lot less money to work with due to FA, and CBT penalties.
It seems like yesterday that the Bosox gave Yoan Moncada $31.5 million, plus paid another $31.5 mil in penalties for the top rated international prospect. Now the most money any team had to spend was $5.7 million by the Cubs, Dodgers had $4.1 mil. and some of you guys think the owners can’t afford to spend any money, or go a few million over the CBT, Ha.