If the Los Angeles Dodgers are unable to bring back Trea Turner at shortstop, there is little doubt that the franchise would be a desirable landing place for any of the other big-name shortstops available in free agency. However, would the Dodgers consider filling the shortstop position with an internal candidate, a decision that would save the franchise dollars it could put toward other positions and potential free agents?
Will the Los Angeles Dodgers turn to Gavin Lux at shortstop in 2023?
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Dodgers could give the shortstop job to Lux in 2023, writing, “Some believe they wouldn’t mind filling that need in-house” with the 25-year-old who was named as the 2019 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. Lux made his debut with the Dodgers late in 2019 and played in a career-high 129 games last season for L.A.
In 2022, Lux slashed .276/.346/.399 with 33 extra-base hits, including a National League-leading seven triples.
While Los Angeles has shaved its payroll for next season down through the losses of players like Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger (who was a notable recent non-tender), and Craig Kimbrel, Heyman writes that the Dodgers “seem interested in reducing their $290 million payroll” even more. If that’s the case, signing a top-tier shortstop may not be in the cards for Los Angeles this offseason, especially if there is any validity to the rumors that the Dodgers are still pursuing Aaron Judge in free agency.
Last season, Lux played primarily at second base (102 games), but did see action in nine games at shortstop. Over the course of the last two campaigns, Lux has played 68 games at shortstop.
If Lux were to move to shortstop on a primary basis, Chris Taylor or Max Muncy (depending on what happens at third base this offseason in L.A.) could take over at second base.
While a move like this wouldn’t bring the star power to L.A. as Dodgers fans have been accustomed to seeing over recent years, Lux could provide a viable, cost-effective option that would allow Los Angeles to use resources in other areas, such as starting pitching.