Right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers' plan at shortstop after learning of Gavin Lux's torn ACL features Miguel Rojas as the starter and Chris Taylor as the backup. Rojas is entering his age-34 season and Taylor has played 44 games at shortstop since the start of 2020. This doesn't sound concrete.
But that's the reality given the timing of Lux's injury. The Dodgers don't have many options this late in the offseason, and their organizational depth at shortstop is almost nonexistent (they traded No. 15 prospect Jacob Amaya for Rojas this offseason and only have Eddys Leonard, who hasn't appeared in a game above High-A, next in the pipeline).
At the moment in free agency, names like Jose Iglesias, Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons are still available, but that's not necessarily upgrading from the status quo. The trade market will take further massaging to birth a viable option at such an important position.
But president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman apparently isn't ruling out a deal on that front. Lux's injury didn't just affect shortstop. If Taylor is going to be the backup, that now upends the outfield picture since he was supposed to log most of his reps in center and left in 2023 following the departures of Cody Bellinger and Joey Gallo (in addition to Trayce Thompson seemingly falling out of favor).
Here's what Friedman told Andy McCullough of The Athletic (subscription required) this week following the news that Lux would be out for the season:
"Right now, it’s just about wrapping our arms around the different questions that we want to see (answered) in spring training. And starting to compile a list of potentially available players, and compare what we have internally to what we can potentially access externally. And I think even the role is up in the air. "- Andrew Friedman, via The Athletic
Andrew Friedman won't rule out a Dodgers trade after Gavin Lux injury
The Dodgers have options to immediately address the vacancy, but they aren't appealing. Why would they make an already unappealing situation almost less inspiring (or equally uninspiring)? That's not what contenders do.
That means LA will have to wait it out and see how Spring Training unfolds for the 29 other teams. Maybe another club wants to elevate a prospect and a veteran becomes expendable. Maybe a glut of MLB-ready prospects in another situation makes a trade more amenable. Maybe a deteriorating relationship between a player and team forces the issue and puts a potential candidate on the market.
For example, the Yankees have a crowded infield situation and might be willing to sell one of their middle infielders. Perhaps the White Sox decide they want to get as much value for Tim Anderson as they possibly can because 2023 looks bleak. Maybe the Brewers will relent on the Willy Adames front if Brice Turang emerges. Might the Guardians consider moving Amed Rosario for something since he's a free agent after this season and they probably won't pay him?
Four weeks until Opening Day. Anything can change between now and then.