The Los Angeles Dodgers have a problem. Well, a few of them. One of the latest is the injury to Miguel Rojas, which has further justified those who had their doubts about the initial move. Going from Trea Turner to Gavin Lux to Rojas to whatever’s next should have fans a bit concerned about the decision-making skills of the front office at this position.
The Dodgers need to already start scouting a few of the different shortstop options out there. While a major trade may not be imminent, there are a couple of shortstop targets the Dodgers should inquire about and keep tabs on.
3. Aledmys Diaz
It’s not flashy. It’s not going to make you stop what you’re doing. It is a practical option for the Dodgers, who may need to make a move sooner rather than later. Veteran infielder Aledmys Diaz is on the Oakland Athletics roster, signed on a still-fresh deal through the 2024 season. The Athletics are paying him $6.5 million this season with an $8 million commitment for next season.
Whether they’re still in Oakland in 2024 or already in Las Vegas, Diaz seems like a rather pricey player for them to have on their payroll. A trade seems to be the likeliest ending for his time in Oakland.
Diaz has gotten off to a slow start with the Athletics, but he has a history of being a decent MLB hitter and utility man. He was a part of the 2022 Houston Astros, where he found himself playing all over the field.
There are a couple of benefits Diaz can provide. The ability to play multiple positions, including the outfield, is nice to have. The Dodgers could find some use for him, even if they end up with someone else manning the position full-time. Plus, with the Athletics looking to save money, it shouldn’t cost them a whole lot of prospect capital.
The only thing stopping this trade from happening is how recently Diaz joined the ball club. Would the Athletics hand him over this quickly? We should expect them to make the Dodgers sweat a little longer, unless the offer is too good to refuse.
2. Jose Barrero
The Cincinnati Reds have more shortstops than they know what to do with. They’re a team the Dodgers absolutely have to call up. On the major league roster, there’s Kevin Newman and Jose Barrero. Barrero, at 25, seems to be the better choice, if only because he’s younger. One could make the argument he has yet to reach his ceiling.
If the Diaz choice didn’t satisfy you, Barrero won’t blow you away either. His highest batting average thus far in a season is only .200. Last season, in 174 plate appearances, Barrero slashed .152/.195/.206. Woof!
It wouldn’t cost a whole lot for the Dodgers to acquire Barrero, given how small of a role he’ll have in Cincinnati once their better prospects are deemed ready. For even a mid-level-or-below outfield prospect, the Reds should accept.
Something positive to note for Barrero is how he did slash .303/.380/.539 with 19 home runs in 380 minor league at-bats in 2021. He can hit. Those skills have yet to translate to the majors. He wouldn’t be the first player to leave a team and find his groove with the Dodgers. In looking for a temporary upgrade, he’s someone to consider. He does have a minor league option remaining. Use it if things go sour and begin the search again.
1. Enrique Hernández
This might be the most romantic choice of all. It’s also the toughest to pry away, because of how important Enrique Hernández is to the Boston Red Sox right now. Although he has slumped for a good part of the early 2023 season, the team has needed him as their primary shortstop to begin the year.
Dodgers fans know how important Hernández was to their franchise. He’s doing similar things in Boston. He has spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox playing mostly center field. The injury to Trevor Story and loss of Xander Bogaerts in free agency have forced them to roll with Hernández as their primary shortstop in the interim.
Hernández’s Red Sox numbers are similar enough to what he did with the Dodgers. He won’t always hit amazingly well, but he does have occasional pop. Hernández is a good locker room presence and, if nothing else, a fun player to watch.
The Dodgers will need to wait on this one a little while. The Red Sox are playing good enough baseball to convince themselves they have a chance. Hernández is a free agent after this season. Once they do fall out of the race, Hernández should be one of the main players they shop around.