Dodgers hype up Gavin Lux as clock ticks on Willy Adames dream

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

When Corbin Burnes was traded to the Orioles, the Dodgers had to kiss goodbye a longstanding dream of adding a Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star to the rotation. The package that actually got Burnes to Baltimore was absurd, and it must've left the Dodgers scratching their heads, wondering what possibly could've been wrong with the proposals they undoubtedly ran past the Brewers.

If the Dodgers still wanted to deal with the Brewers, the pivot from Burnes, who will be a free agent after this season but will also join an Orioles team under new management who are likely to spend the money to keep him, was clear. Some chatter indicated the Brewers were still shopping players, so Devin Williams and Willy Adames, another name the Dodgers have liked for a while, quickly raised flags.

However, it now seems that the Brewers aren't actually giving up on the 2024 season and look likely to keep both Williams and Adames for the year. That leaves the Dodgers with Gavin Lux, who was out for 2023 after an ACL tear, at shortstop. Lux will have to step up to earn his way back into the good graces of Dodgers fans, especially after Burnes-Adames trade dreams were dashed, and the Dodgers' PR team seems to be all over that. They shared a video of a now-healthy Lux taking live BP at spring training on Thursday, and did so for good reason.

Dodgers hype up Gavin Lux in new spring training workout video

Before he got hurt in 2022, Lux looked a lot more promising offensively than he had in years past. He wasn't really hitting for power, but he had the best average of his career and a great OBP (.346) to close out the year. His elite sprint speed was also important to the Dodgers, who don't steal much, especially after they lost Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger. However, Lux's defense left something to be desired. He had a -5 OAA at shortstop in 2021, which he improved to 1 in 2022. He was stronger at second base, but Mookie Betts will have that locked down this year.

Adames, on the other hand, was mashing home runs in Milwaukee and had his best defensive year by far in 2023, ranking 12th in the entire league in fielding run value. He struck out a little too often and didn't walk often enough, but he quickly became a staple for the Brewers while Lux was recovering all year.

There are reasons to be excited about Lux's return, sure, and Adames could be back on the trade block at the deadline, but the incumbent going to have to be a little more than serviceable for fans to get over the disappointment of missing out on Adames.

Of course, if it doesn't work out, there's always free agency next winter.