It was covered thoroughly on Wednesday night, but the Los Angeles Dodgers' trade for Miguel Rojas remains atop the MLB headlines on Thursday morning. Many are wondering if he'll be the starting shortstop over Gavin Lux, with Chris Taylor logging a majority of his time in the outfield.
There are still a lot of questions to be answered. Chief among them: why did the Dodgers feel one year of Rojas, who had a career-worst campaign in 2022, was worth a top-15 prospect in Jacob Amaya?
Though fellow prospect Eddys Leonard ranked ahead of Amaya in the Dodgers' system, his debut is much further away and he actually regressed in 2022, while Amaya took a fairly notable leap. After a poor 2021 at Double-A, Amaya rebounded to earn a promotion to Triple-A after just 49 games at Tulsa. His slugging percentage took a hit at the next level while his defense proved to be a bit shaky (11 errors in 80 games), but starting the 2023 season at OKC was presumably the next step.
Then again, with the Pacific Coast League being notorious hitter-friendly and Amaya not exactly shining offensively (20 doubles, 17 HR, .261 AVG, .795 OPS), perhaps the Dodgers felt it was time to move on when you factor in the defensive issues (36 errors over his last 241 games at shortstop).
By dealing Amaya, the Dodgers cleared up a 40-man roster spot, added an expiring contract in Rojas to help with their finances for 2024, and replenished some of the veteran presence lost when Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Tyler Anderson, Trea Turner, and others departed this offseason.
Dodgers News: Miguel Rojas trade, Matt Beaty and Hanser Alberto sign
-Shortly after the trade, fans learned Rojas, who underwent wrist surgery back in October, needs another procedure after having a minor issue "pop up." Though it didn't hold up the trade, his timetable for recovery is unknown and it's unclear if he'll be ready for spring training.
-What do you think of the trade? Feel free to sound off in the comments ... because we're still trying to understand it ourselves
-Former Dodger Matt Beaty, after being traded to the Padres last year, has signed a minor-league deal with the Kansas City Royals. Beaty was a rock-solid Dodger, hitting .262 with a .758 OPS and 100 OPS+ across his 240 games in LA. Wishing him the best in KC.
-Former Dodger and Energy Guy Hanser Alberto also found a new home, signing with the Chicago White Sox on a minor-league contract. Earlier this offseason, the Dodgers surprisingly declined Alberto's $2 million team option, paid his $250K buyout, and continued their re-tool. At $2 million, Alberto seemed like a solid investment due to his versatility and clubhouse influence, but what do we know? Here's to Hanser bringing the good vibes to the Windy City.
MLB News: Blue Jays, Mets, Padres making moves
-The Blue Jays signed former Giants World Series champion Brandon Belt to a one-year deal. That dynasty core is dissipating before our very eyes. Only a few more departures and it'll be finito.
-The Mets, after losing Carlos Correa to the Twins, are reportedly interested in signing Andrew McCutchen as their fourth outfielder. They're also interested in Zack Britton. Some things to keep an eye on.
-The Padres signed Nelson Cruz to a one-year deal. This comes after they signed Matt Carpenter, who was believed to be their full-time DH, to a two-year, $12 million contract that could reach $21 million if he hits certain benchmarks. Let's see how it works out for them, Cotton.
-Earlier this week it was announced former Colorado Rockies star Trevor Story, who's now with the Boston Red Sox, underwent a modified version Tommy John surgery that's expected to knock him out for 4-6 months. Rough news for all involved.