Dodgers could revisit reported trade talks with Yankees to address Gavin Lux injury
The one thing the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't afford at the onset of Spring Training, after the many departures and changes that seemingly downgraded their roster, was a season-altering injury to one of their key starters.
All it took was the third day of preseason games to upend the Dodgers' 2023 plans. Gavin Lux tore his ACL last Monday, and right now there's only the underwhelming solution of using Miguel Rojas as the everyday starter at shortstop, which wasn't supposed to be the plan.
Rojas was projected to be the team's utility infielder behind Lux. After moving up on the depth chart as the starter, Rojas will be backed up by Chris Taylor, who was expected to log most of his reps in the outfield this coming season. While Taylor is capable of playing the position, he's certainly not backup material for the duration of an entire 162-game season.
As we wrote last week, don't be surprised if Andrew Friedman makes a trade to address the shortstop depth issue before Opening Day. Though the options aren't appealing, some would at least bring stability while allowing the Dodgers to keep their outfiend plans intact.
Turns out, the Dodgers can revisit some trade talks they reportedly had earlier in the season with the New York Yankees.
Dodgers Rumors: Isiah Kiner-Falefa trade with Yankees a possibility?
"They spoke to the Yankees during the winter about the availability of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, among others, before settling on Rojas in what rival execs perceived to be a salary dump by the Marlins."- Buster Olney, ESPN
"Now that Los Angeles Dodgers are without shortstop Gavin Lux for the season, look for them to re-visit trade talks with the New York Yankees about Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The trouble, however, is that Kiner-Falefa is earning $6 million and the Dodgers would like to re-set their luxury tax to pursue Shohei Ohtani without any restrictions. "- Bob Nightengale, USA Today
So for anyone outraged about us including IKF on the "immediate replacements" list for Lux, just know we can safely say that connection began with two trusted insiders.
The Yankees acquired Kiner-Falefa last offseason in a trade with the Twins and opted to use him as their starting shortstop (as a stopgap option for the eventual arrivals of Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe). Problem is, IKF is a utility player whose better position is third base, so when his shortcomings became more glaring as the season went on, fans grew frustated and the situation reached a boiling point. As a backup option, though? Great to have on the roster, especially since he can help out at second and third. Not ... totally a shortstop, though. Above-average range, limited in other capacities.
The Dodgers love their versatility and would no doubt find value for IKF's glove and his contact-first bat, which could be a nice addition at the bottom of the lineup a few times per week.