The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers have been closely linked this winter. No, I'm not talking about Milwaukee's recent acquisition of former Dodgers pitcher Bryan Hudson.
Heading into the offseason, the Dodgers and Brewers seemed like the perfect match for a blockbuster trade. LA was in need of a frontline starter and perhaps even a starting shortstop. The Brewers, who look to be in the early stages of tearing down their roster, have two All-Star caliber players on their roster that fit the bill.
Both Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames would look really nice in Dodger blue next season, but alas, one of those players would appear to be a pipe dream. While Dodgers fans shouldn't count out a trade for Burnes, Adames is likely off the table.
Dodgers-Willy Adames trade buzz is likely dead following insider's update
Willy Adames is an above-average shortstop, both defensively and at the dish. Last season, the 28-year-old struggled at the plate, hitting just .217. However, Adames is a threat to take the ball over the fence at any moment, and did so with 24 big flies in 2023. Despite last season's shortcomings, Adames is still one of the best in the game when it comes to barrel rate.
The slick-fielding shortstop can flash the leather as well. According to Baseball Savant, Adames was worth 16 outs above average in 2023, which places him in elite company. The shortstop also has an above-average arm and enough speed to track down almost any ball hit his way.
Healthy Gavin Lux likely to be Dodgers Opening Day shortstop
But according to MLB.com's Juan Toribio, Gavin Lux will receive every opportunity this spring to prove that he can handle the everyday duties at shortstop. Lux, after suffering a devastating knee injury during Cactus League play last spring, has reportedly been working out at Dodger Stadium all winter.
While some fans may be disappointed to hear that LA is likely out on Adames, this is the best-case scenario for the Dodgers. A healthy Gavin Lux was slated to be the starting shortstop last season. If he returns to form, the former top prospect can finally ascend to the level that many expected when he was selected in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft (in a well-cushioned lineup, we might add).
Giving Lux the opportunity at shortstop rather than pivoting to a trade for Adames also helps president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hold on to some of the Los Angeles Dodgers' top assets.
While LA has improved their roster by leaps and bounds this offseason, one more pitcher couldn't hurt. The Dodgers may want to dip into the trade market and secure the services of a player like Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber, or the aforementioned Corbin Burnes. Having some extra prospect capital could certainly help in that endeavor -- as well as some additional cash for Adames' free agency next winter, in case things don't work out with the incumbent.