The Los Angeles Dodgers need to address a lot of roster holes this offseason, with the most prominent being their starting rotation. But the position player side of things cannot be neglected, even if they do sign Shohei Ohtani. As incredible as he is, he can only DH in 2024.
Realistically, the Dodgers have varying forms of question marks at second base, shortstop, third base and left field. That's a lot for any team to handle, let alone a high-profile contender looking to dispel the bad postseason vibes that have overtaken them the last three years.
Max Muncy's defense is declining at the hot corner. Gavin Lux was very much an unknown quantity even before his ACL tear in spring training, and Miguel Rojas is not fit to be a starter. Left field has featured an underwhelming carousel of players. It's fully unclear who will be playing second base after Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch underwhelmed (and are now both believed to get corner outfield reps).
It's probably a good idea to get shortstop plus one of those other positions settled with surefire contributors. And it appears there could be an ironclad second base option available on the trade market based on the latest buzz.
Dating back to the 2023 trade deadline, it was rumored that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox discussed a swap of starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt and outfielder Alex Verdugo. The Yanks need left-handed bats and are desperate for a left fielder, but now the discussion has apparently shifted to second baseman Gleyber Torres.
Dodgers Rumors: Yankees-Gleyber Torres trade buzz is big opportunity for LA
That's not a swap commensurate with the talent levels. Torres is a better baseball player than Verdugo and also plays a more valuable position (and he defends that position much better than Verdugo defends his).
So how does this relate to the Dodgers? Easy: outbid the Red Sox if this is at all real! It makes almost no sense for the Yankees to trade a star second baseman for a middling corner outfielder on an expiring contract just because said outfielder happens to be a lefty. And if there's a desire for the Yankees to clear salary, they won't be doing much of that by offloading Torres' ~$15 million for Verdugo's ~$10 million.
Why not offer Busch (a lefty with the ability to play left field) plus another prospect (perhaps slugging lefty catcher Hunter Feduccia)? The Yankees need some catching help too, and the Dodgers have little-to-no use for either of those guys.
Maybe it'll require more than that for Torres' resurgent bat. He's also entering his age-27 season and wouldn't be a bad extension candidate. He might be a bit infuriating with his mental lapses and questionable effort at times, but the talent is there and the Yankees very much haven't been a good setting for him dating back to 2020.
The Dodgers have reached a point with some of their in-house talent where they have to make a call. They've reached a point where they can't afford to let certain roster holes persist. This could solve both of those issues -- that is, if the Yankees' willingness to ship Torres is real (and if Mookie Betts can be kept away from second base).