The domino to set off the trade market! Here we have it! Well, probably not, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have struck a deal on Wednesday with the Miami Marlins and have reportedly agreed to import shortstop Miguel Rojas for prospect Jacob Amaya. Rojas, a former Dodger, was traded to the Marlins back in 2014. That deal sent Kiké Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Andrew Heaney to LA.
Does Rojas help this team? Sure ... as a depth piece off the bench. He certainly doesn't as the team's starting shortstop, if that's the plan.
It's just even more disheartening because this team has gone from Corey Seager, to Trea Turner, to potentially giving Gavin Lux a chance, to Rojas. It's obvious the Dodgers have other plans in store for the future of the organization, but how much more obvious can you get in telling the fans you're not expecting much in 2023?
Because you know what else this tells us? Chris Taylor is going to be playing a good amount of outfield with Lux likely remaining at second base. That means no Bryan Reynolds trade, either, if this is the vision.
Dealing a top-15 prospect for Rojas, who is a free agent after 2023, too? Fans shouldn't be prospect hugging whatsoever, but are we sure this is the move?
Dodgers trade for Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas in bizarre move
On the flip side, the Dodgers' sole competition in 2023 will be the San Diego Padres, who are well known for shooting themselves in the foot -- their 2022 NLCS run be damned. With an expanded playoff field, it'll be almost impossible for the Dodgers to miss out on October baseball. And in lowering expectations, perhaps they're trying out a new philosophy as they welcome younger players into the fold.
Anything's possible once you get into the dance, but acquiring a shortstop heading into his age-34 season coming off a year where he hit .236 with a .605 OPS and 72 OPS+ might also send the wrong message to someone like Lux. He figured to be a big part of the Dodgers future after Turner's departure coupled with the fact he was the top prospect in all of baseball not too long ago.
And even if they're still planning on starting Lux, what's the point of parting with a top-15 prospect for one year of backup insurance at shortstop?
Maybe Lux wanted to play more second base. Maybe Rojas won't be the starter. Maybe there's still a bigger trade on deck as the market loosens a bit.
But all of those scenarios would be a departure from the signals the Dodgers have been sending ever since they were eliminated from the 2022 playoffs. Rojas coming in to start, Lux remaining at second base, and Taylor serving as the fourth outfielder/utility infielder is more the vibe we're getting.
Fans hope they're wrong about that, but what other evidence is there to convince you otherwise?