It’s not often that a team loses two premier shortstops in a matter of 12 months, but that’s exactly what happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the loss of Trea Turner, LA is poised to fill that hole with Miguel Rojas. The Dodgers have reportedly acquired the team’s former farmhand in a deal with the Marlins. So, who made out well in this deal? Let’s take a look at the returns.
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The Dodgers’ Return
- Miguel Rojas (2.5 bWAR)
After a standout season from former Dodger Trea Turner, Los Angeles found itself with a hole at short after he left via free agency. The Dodgers now look to Miguel Rojas, who started his career in LA. The 33-year-old played 85 games in his rookie season with the Dodgers, before the infielder was dealt to Miami alongside Dan Haren and Dee Strange-Gordon.
Rojas won’t be bring the offensive punch that Turner did with the Dodgers; the ex-Marlin boasts a career OPS of just .672 and eclipsed double digits in home runs during a season just once. This past season, Rojas hit .236/.283/.323 with the Marlins with six home runs and 36 RBIs. However, Rojas is among the league’s best in making contact and avoiding the dreaded strikeout. Rojas’ 12.0 K% ranked in the fifth percentile of all players, and his 92.8% Zone Contact% was better than the MLB average by over 10%.
The calling card for Rojas is his glove. Last season, Rojas accrued a +12 Outs Above Average (OAA), and +10 at short. In terms of Outs Above Average, Rojas has been recorded an OAA above +1 in three of the past five seasons.
The move to acquire Rojas should keep Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux at second base.
The Marlins’ Return
In return, the Marlins receive prospect Jacob Amaya from the Dodgers. The 24-year-old shortstop hasn’t been known to be an elite power hitter throughout his pro career. Amaya did, though, hit 17 home runs last season, alongside a slash line of .261/.369/.426 across two levels (AA and AAA).
The new Marlin has gotten on base a fair amount of time in his Minor League career, as he possesses a career OBP of .361. Per MLB.com, the shortstop projects to be a very solid defender at short, thanks to a good arm and a high baseball IQ.
MLB.com had Amaya ranked as the Dodgers’ #15 prospect in the team’s farm system prior to this trade.
After losing Corey Seager and Trea Turner in back-to-back offseason, the Dodgers now add a stopgap in Rojas. While Rojas hasn’t been an offensive machine in his career, the new Dodger has shown good bat-to-ball skills and can provide stability defensively for the Dodgers. It’s a sensible move for the Dodgers, as LA doesn’t break the bank for a replacement for Turner. As things stand right now, Rojas is set to become a free agent after this season.
For Miami, the Marlins receive an intriguing prospect in Amaya who has shown strong defensive acumen at short. Plus, his ability to get on base should provide Amaya opportunities at the MLB level. If a winner had to be picked right now, it would have to be the Marlins. While the Dodgers didn’t do too bad, Miami gets a solid prospect for a shortstop who had just one year left on a multi-year deal.
With Rojas gone, it’s going to be interesting to see how Miami fills the hole left behind. Sure, Amaya could push his way in at some point. However, Miami may opt to give Jordan Groshans or Jazz Chisholm Jr. time at the position. Both did play short in the Minors, and the latter saw a fair amount of time there in 2021. However, a -9 OAA at short in 2021 and arm strength that ranks in the bottom half of the league does lend some pause to the idea of slotting Chisholm in again. Groshans, on the other hand, played all 17 games of his time in the Majors last season at third.