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Who could replace Gavin Lux? Four ways the Dodgers can fill the hole in their lineup

Who could replace Gavin Lux? Four ways the Dodgers can fill the hole in their lineup
Who could replace Gavin Lux

The Dodgers’ roster was not a house of cards, but it seemed vulnerable after significant offseason changes.

The team was constructed like a Jenga tower, with the potential to become unstable with even a few missing pieces.

On Tuesday, the first piece was removed when manager Dave Roberts revealed that shortstop Gavin Lux would be out for the season due to a torn ACL in his right knee.

Lux, a 25-year-old former top prospect who had recently established himself as a major league player, was set to become the team’s everyday shortstop for the first time.

“That’s one of the hardest parts,” he said Tuesday, leaning on crutches and fighting back tears. “Every baseball player’s dream is to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

The announcement that shortstop Gavin Lux would miss the season due to injury has thrown a wrench into the Dodgers’ plans, just three games into spring training.

The team now faces new obstacles that they hadn’t anticipated before. With Lux out, the Dodgers will need to adjust their plans and find a replacement for the young shortstop.

They have a few options to consider, such as exploring free agency, evaluating the trade market, or simply rearranging their current lineup to provide more depth in the infield.

Whatever they decide, they will need to act quickly to ensure they can compete at the highest level.

Stick with internal replacements

This passage discusses the different options that the Dodgers have after shortstop Gavin Lux suffered a season-ending injury.

The first option is to explore the remaining free agents or the trade market for a minor or major addition.

The second option is to rearrange their current roster by sliding Miguel Rojas to shortstop and rotating Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts into the infield.

However, this would leave the Dodgers without an established backup infielder, and their lineup would likely take a hit without Lux.

The last option is to do nothing and rely on Rojas and rotating players to fill the gap, which would not be ideal but could potentially get them through the first half of the year.

Overall, the injury to Lux has thrown the Dodgers’ plans out of whack just three games into spring training, and they will have to navigate new hurdles to stay atop the standings and in position for trade deadline activity.

“What we do have will be more than sufficient,” Roberts said, “but we’re always trying to get better, whether it’s internally or externally.”

Add the top remaining free-agent bat

If the Dodgers are seeking external help, Jurickson Profar is a potential option, as he is currently one of the most productive free agent hitters available.

While Profar has experience playing shortstop and second base, he may not be the perfect fit defensively, as he is better suited to play in the corner outfield positions.

However, if the team decides to use Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts more often in the infield, Profar could become part of the outfield rotation and make an impact offensively.

In the previous season, Profar had above-average stats for the third time in the last five years, and his on-base-plus-slugging percentage was the fourth-best on the Padres’ team that won 89 games.

Profar is not the most affordable option since he is still a free agent, and no team has met his asking price yet.

Additionally, the Dodgers have already signed another veteran outfielder, David Peralta, for $6.5 million (with incentives), which is possibly less than what Profar would demand.

However, if the Dodgers want a reliable hitter in the major leagues, Profar is an attractive possibility.

Look for another depth piece

Other free agents may be viable options besides Profar.

As of Tuesday, infielders José Iglesias and Andrelton Simmons were still on the market. Although both have struggled offensively in recent seasons, they have reputations as strong defensive shortstops and would likely be relatively affordable.

As spring training nears its end, there could be more options available as teams reduce their rosters and minor league invitees reach the opt-out dates of their contracts.

While players in this category likely wouldn’t receive regular at-bats with the Dodgers, they could provide depth and fill a defensive utility role if needed due to injuries or if Vargas struggles to adapt to second base.

However, finding a significant upgrade over Hernández or Williams, or adding another outfielder currently in camp, is not a guaranteed outcome.

Try to swing a blockbuster trade

Making a major move before the season starts may not be the best idea, as waiting until the trade deadline could offer more impactful opportunities.

However, if the Dodgers do decide to make a big move before the season, the trade market could be their best option.

Several shortstops were rumored to be available in the offseason, such as Willy Adames from the Milwaukee Brewers and Amed Rosario from the Cleveland Guardians.

The Dodgers have a lot of prospect capital, finishing with the second-highest-ranked farm system last season, according to MLB Pipeline.

The Dodgers will likely have to overpay to swing a trade now, as all 29 other clubs are aware of their situation. This makes it another imperfect solution.

At the moment, the Dodgers are still considered contenders, but their situation is starting to look shaky. During the rest of camp, the team will be trying to find the best remedy.

Sports Evolve

Written by Sports Evolve

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