The Los Angeles Dodgers weren't planning on having a hole in the middle of their infield with less than a month to go until Opening Day, but Gavin Lux's injury has opened one right up.
A painful-looking play on the basepaths forced the 25-year-old to make an early exit from the Dodgers' exhibition against the San Diego Padres on Monday. On Tuesday, the team revealed that Lux is likely out for the entire 2023 season with a torn ACL and sprained LCL.
The Dodgers had been hoping that Lux, formerly the Minor League Player of the Year in 2019, would ably fill the departed Trea Turner's shoes at shortstop. The task now falls to Miguel Rojas, who's typically a better defender than he is a hitter.
Though it's hardly certain that the Dodgers will look outside the organization for help, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn't seem to rule it out in speaking to reporters: "I do know that what we do have will be more than sufficient, but we're always trying to get better. Whether it's internally or externally, I just don't know."
Let's assess who the Dodgers can go get, starting with remaining free agents and long-shot trade possibilities before counting down seven more practical trade targets. Those rankings are based on those players' appeal, though we also speculated on their present availability.
Remaining Free Agents and Potential Deadline Options
Remaining Free Agents: Jurickson Profar, José Iglesias, Andrelton Simmons, Didi Gregorius
Profar is more of an outfielder than an infielder at this point, so he's not the best fit for the Dodgers, even though he's the best hitter left on the open market. Iglesias, meanwhile, isn't much more of a roster-filler at this stage of his career.
Simmons and Gregorius have likewise looked squarely past their primes in recent years, but there is the possibility of one or both enjoying a renaissance while playing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. The Dodgers can wait and see how it plays out.
Long-Shot Trade Targets: Willy Adames (MIL), Tim Anderson (CHW), Amed Rosario (CLE)
Adames and Anderson were speculative trade targets at the outset of the 2022-23 offseason, but not so much after Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic shot the ideas down in December.
It's plausible that one or both players could end up on the trading block this summer if their respective teams fall out of the race. But likely? Probably not. No matter how bad things get for the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox, both will have the option of holding their starting shortstops for the 2024 season. Anderson has a club option, while Adames has another year of arbitration eligibility.