When Gavin Lux tore his ACL in spring training, the Los Angeles Dodgers' infield picture quickly got murky. Second base and third base already weren't fully solved, and still aren't at the present moment (Miguel Vargas got sent down to Triple-A and Max Muncy's defense at the hot corner is questionable).
In the end, Miguel Rojas slid into the starting job and that didn't work out. Mookie Betts logged 74 games at second base and shortstop. The Dodgers were down a lefty bat and lost another year of attempting to determine what they had in Lux, who still has yet to prove himself.
Heading into 2024, it feels like the Dodgers might be in the same boat. It's been eight months since Lux's injury and there doesn't seem to be a guarantee he'll be ready for spring training ahead of the 2024 season, with Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes saying the "expectation" is for him to be the starter next year.
Obviously, the Dodgers can't bank on anything, especially with all the unexpected injury issues that crushed them since 2021. Lux has yet to even begin running, and there was a conflicting report about his status after Gomes spoke to the media last week.
Apparently, the Dodgers could be eyeing a big trade to address the shortstop position pending Lux's status for next year.
Conflicting Gavin Lux injury updates could foreshadow huge trade for Dodgers
"Gomes said shortstop Gavin Lux is continuing to progress after suffering a torn ACL and LCL, as well as a right hamstring tear. Lux has been doing drills and, if healthy, could be the team’s starting shortstop in 2024. The Dodgers, however, will continue to monitor the trade market for a shortstop, mainly Milwaukee’s Willy Adames and Toronto’s Bo Bichette."- Juan Toribio, MLB.com
Before Dodgers fans get excited about the prospect of trading for Willy Adames or Bo Bichette (!?!), it's probably important to note Lux also suffered a hamstring tear alongside his torn ACL and MCL. That certainly clears up why there's still uncertainty surrounding his status as his rehab is seemingly taking longer than we might've initially expected.
Though everyone's different, back in 2016 Kyle Schwarber tore his ACL in the first week of April and was able to return for the World Series to help lead the Chicago Cubs to a title. He didn't even miss six full months.
So while the jury's still out, the trade buzz will persist. The Brewers are reportedly open to trading almost anybody, which now has Dodgers fans licking their chops for a blockbuster involving Adames and ace Corbin Burnes. That's not out of the realm of possibility whatsoever. Shifting Lux back to second base and adding a big name at short might be the solution to keep everybody happy (and Betts in right field).
And then there's the possibility of Bichette, apparently? Toribio listed the Blue Jays slugger as an option. He's signed through 2025 for a total of $30 million, but it's unclear why Toronto would be inclined to trade him as they're currently in a window of contention. If that's at all on the table, though, that'd perfectly fit the Dodgers' short-term plan as long as Andrew Friedman can land a couple of ace-caliber starters.
Lux's recovery just became a much bigger story any fan could've imagined.