Dodgers News: Touching Ralph Avila tribute, Miguel Vargas position switch?

MLB First Year Player Draft
MLB First Year Player Draft / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

On Monday, it was announced former Los Angeles Dodgers scout and executive Ralph Avila had passed away at the age of 92. He was hired by the Dodgers in 1970 and lasted with the organization through the 2021 campaign. That's a baseball life, folks.

Avila, initially hired by the Dodgers to scout Latin America, was responsible for signing Pedro Martinez and later on helped creat the Dodgers' academy in the Dominican Republic. In 2006, he was the first recipient of Major League Baseball's International Scout of the Year award.

He also helped influence the involvement of two more generations of Avilas in the game of baseball. His son, Al, was the general manager of the Detroit Tigers from 2015-2022 and his grandson, Alex, was a catcher for 13 years and played for the Tigers, Cubs, D-backs, Twins and Nationals.

His grandson Alex posted a beautiful message to remember his accomplished life, which clearly had great influence on the former catcher.

Dodgers News: Ralph Avila passes away, Miguel Vargas could change positions

As the Dodgers look ahead to the 2023 season, changes continue to engulf them. Though LA remains a contender, in some ways, the roster is very much in flux. Outside of first base, right field and catcher, every position (from a full-time reps perspective) is up for grabs.

Andrew Friedman appeared on MLB Network over the weekend to talk about the infield situation specifically and dropped a wrinkle some fans may not have been considering this entire time. Miguel Vargas at second base?!

The highly-touted prospect has played just 28 career professional games at second base. He's played more (32) at first base! And fans were under the impression his "next" position after third base would be left field. What's spurred the change?

So Gavin Lux is the starting shortstop? OK then! And the Dodgers went well beyond the first luxury tax threshold to pay $5 million for a utility man in Miguel Rojas? OK then? And where is Chris Taylor playing in the outfield? Somehow, there are still more questions to answer.

MLB news: Blue Jays, Rays, Mets making moves

  • The Blue Jays have signed reliever Chad Green to a multi-year contract, which seemed right up the Dodgers' alley. Guess not.
  • The Rays, most recently, signed Yandy Diaz to a contract extension. He joins Jeffrey Springs and Pete Fairbanks as others who agreed to stay on longer with Tampa Bay this offseason.
  • The Mets signed All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil to a four-year contract extension. Steve Cohen continues to figure out ways to be loud.