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Dodgers purchase shortstop Miguel Rojas from Marlins


The Dodgers fortified their infield protection by buying veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas from the Miami Marlins for infield prospect Jacob Amaya on Wednesday, a transfer that might push Gavin Lux to extra of a second-base position and utility man Chris Taylor to extra of an outfield position.

Rojas, who turns 34 in February, is an elite defender whose offensive manufacturing dipped final season, when he hit .236 with a .605 on-base-plus-slugging proportion, six homers, 19 doubles and 36 RBIs in 140 video games.

The Venezuelan native batted .265 with a .713 OPS, 9 homers, 30 doubles and 48 RBIs in 132 video games in 2021 and .304 with an .888 OPS, 4 homers, 10 doubles and 20 RBIs in 40 video games in pandemic-shortened 2020.

A proper hand damage might have contributed to his offensive struggles in 2022 — Rojas caught his hand on a slide into third base within the first recreation after the All-Star break and hit .230 with a .557 OPS and no homers in his ultimate 58 video games. He underwent surgical procedure to take away cartilage from the wrist in October.

The 6-foot, 188-pound Rojas, who made his huge league debut with the Dodgers in 2014, was acquired extra for his glove and robust and correct throwing arm than his bat.

Rojas was a Gold Glove finalist in 2022, and he ranked second behind Dansby Swanson with 15 defensive runs saved and tied for fifth amongst huge league shortstops with 10 outs above common, in keeping with Fangraphs.

Rojas has made nearly all of his huge league begins (640) at shortstop, however he has additionally made 109 begins at first base, 99 at third base and 73 at second base. He is predicted to play third base, shortstop and second base with the Dodgers and compete with Lux for the beginning shortstop job.

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The plan coming into this winter was to maneuver Lux to shortstop to interchange Trea Turner, who signed an 11-year, $300-million cope with the Philadelphia Phillies, however some scouts query whether or not Lux has the arm energy and accuracy to play the place on an on a regular basis foundation.

The acquisition of Rojas may permit Lux to play extra second base, a place he appears extra fitted to and that shall be extra bodily demanding — requiring extra vary and quickness — with baseball banning infield shifts in 2023.

Miami Marlins’ Miguel Rojas runs after hitting a single throughout the third inning in opposition to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 13, 2022, in Miami.

(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Lux got here up within the group as a shortstop, however with Corey Seager entrenched on the place in Los Angeles from 2016-21, he was moved to second base and to the outfield for a quick time in 2021.

Max Muncy was anticipated to play principally second base, however Wednesday’s deal may push the slugger extra towards third base, the place he may break up time with rookie Miguel Vargas.

Taylor has performed three infield positions and all three outfield spots, and he is perhaps one of the best defensive possibility to interchange departed middle fielder Cody Bellinger, who signed with the Chicago Cubs.

Rojas will make $5 million in 2023, the ultimate yr of a two-year, $10-million deal he signed earlier than 2022, and his wage will push the Dodgers over the $233-million aggressive steadiness tax threshold. But luxurious taxes are based mostly on end-of-the-year payrolls, so the Dodgers have time to shed wage and get again beneath the cap.

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Rojas signed out of Venezuela with the Cincinnati Reds in 2005 and with the Dodgers as a free agent in 2012. He performed 85 video games for the Dodgers in 2014 earlier than being traded together with Dee Strange-Gordon and Dan Haren to Miami for Austin Barnes, Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Heaney and Chris Hatcher.

Amaya, 24, an 11th-round decide in 2017, is a slick defender with a eager eye on the plate. The former West Covina South Hills High standout hit a mixed .261 with a .795 OPS, 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 133 video games for double-A Tulsa and triple-A Oklahoma City in 2022, with 112 strikeouts and 81 walks in 476 at-bats.


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