At the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers continued with their ceaseless quest to create the most dominant infield in all of baseball, as the addition of Trea Turner to a unit that already had Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Gavin Lux has Dave Roberts positioned nicely to potentially repeat as champions.
The long-term outlook, however, is a bit less clear.
Lux is still one of the more promising young players in the game, but Seager is a free agent after this year and the younger Turner is likely going to require a sizable extension in order to keep him as a member of the Dodgers.
If the former Washington Nationals star is willing to go back on his unwillingness to either switch positions or play for a West Coast team, Turner and Seager could be a perfect double-play tandem. This will likely force Lux out of the middle infield, and the Dodgers are preparing for that situation to become a reality.
Lux started at third base, marking the first time he has started somewhere besides second base or shortstop in his career, during a recent rehab appearance with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It didn’t impede him at the plate, as Lux managed to pick up two base hits in a win against Albuquerque.
Is this a sign that LA wants to retain Seager and Turner, moving Lux over to third in the process to eliminate any roadblocks?
Dodgers: Can Gavin Lux co-exist with Corey Seager and Trea Turner?
Justin Turner is manning third base currently, and he not only has one year left on his contract, but he was named an All-Star this year, as his 20 home runs prove that age has not eroded him. However, the Dodgers can’t keep a prime asset like Lux hidden on the bench for much longer.
Outside of doing the usual late-career move of putting Turner at first base full-time (whither Max Muncy?), it’s hard to foresee a pathway to playing time for Lux if both of the standout middle infielders are retained, especially in the DH-less National League. At least a move to third gives Lux some extra flexibility.
Of course, Lux must prove to the Dodgers he is worth all of this accommodation in the first place, as he is only hitting .227 right now. If he comes back in August and September and tears the cover off of the ball, look for LA to create all sorts of funky combinations to get him at-bats.
While Lux isn’t moving to third base full-time just yet, he might have to make the switch if Los Angeles wants to keep both Trea and Corey in the fold. Getting rid of Justin would be a tough choice, but the Lux-Seager-Turner combination around the horn would keep LA dominant for the next decade.