The All-Star festivities are now behind us. It is time for the final sprint to the finish line. With the sprint usually comes some help via a trade. The Dodgers have a boatload of talented young prospects to use at their disposal.
Andrew Friedman always seems to deliver a big deal at the deadline. They may not always pan out, but at the time it was a giant move. A deal with Oakland in 2016 for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick. The last two deadlines, Friedman made a move for Yu Darvish and Manny Machado. So if patterns have shown anything, this means we should expect some sort of noteworthy deal by the deadline on July 31st.
This season the Dodgers have been linked to a plethora of relievers. It seems like the bullpen is a focus for improvement this go-around. The bullpen has been inconsistent all season. The pen will go on spurts where they look untouchable, but then follow that up with several horrendous performances. Inconsistency out of the bullpen is something that absolutely will not play in October.
Luckily for the Dodgers, if they want to make a deal they can. They have so many high caliber prospects, but Gavin Lux is the only player they need to keep. He may not be the highest-rated prospect, but he is the most important for the squad’s future. Keibert Ruiz is currently the team’s “highest-rated” prospect.
The soon to be 21-year-old Ruiz is among the top catching prospects in baseball, yet he is indeed expendable. As mentioned in an article on this site recently, the Dodgers are deep when it comes to catching prospects.
With the likes of Will Smith, Connor Wong, and Diego Cartaya the Dodgers are loaded behind the plate making their best prospect dispensable in the right deal. Using that exact reasoning means Will Smith could also be dealt in a deadline trade.
Now onto Dustin May. This again comes down to depth. May is indeed an absolute stud. However, he can be traded. According to MLB.com, four of the Dodgers top eight prospects are starting pitchers. On top of that, the Dodgers still have Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. However, May’s talent is undeniable. So even though I believe he can be traded if need be, it would be best if the team tried to keep him.
Gavin Lux is the only player who shouldn’t even be a thought when they’re developing packages for a reliever or any other player. After being drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft, Lux had a solid season in rookie ball. In 2017, after being moved onto the single-A roster, Lux struggled to find his swing raising questions about his ability to stick as a shortstop.
Lux bounced back from that with a great 2018 campaign in Advance-A and Double-A. He slashed .324/.399/.514 split between Ranco Cucamonga and Tulsa. Now in 2019, he has been even better. After dominating in Tulsa, Lux got promoted to Triple-A where in just 7 games all he has done is slash .500/.545/.833. It’s just a small sample size, but the kid can flat out swing it.
Lux has improved every single year he has been with the organization. He is a very talented player. The reason he holds the most value for the Dodgers is quite simple. Justin Turner is not getting any younger and Corey Seager continues to take a beating at shortstop.
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Lux will fit right into the lineup very soon. Even if Turner continues to play third base for more years than expected, Lux slots right into second base. The Dodgers do not and have not had an answer to that position for years. Lux could solve that if Turner plays on beyond his current contract.
If JT retires relatively soon, Lux still fits with the squad. As good as Corey Seager has been, it does not help the Dodgers if he is injured every single season. Moving Seager to third to help alleviate some of the wear and tear on his body would be much easier to pull off if they have a ready-made shortstop. That is exactly what Lux is.
Lux has been very productive for the organization and has slowly climbed up the prospect charts. He is exactly what the future of this team needs. May, Smith, and Ruiz are all talented players, but the Dodgers have the depth to move on from them. The same cannot be said for Lux.
Gavin Lux can become an important piece to the team in the near future. Not only will he help the team by being productive, but he will also help keep one of the Dodgers’ most prized players, Corey Seager, healthy. Lux is the only prospect that needs to be untouchable in all trade discussions this summer.